- Women were 1.5 times more likely
to develop chikungunya than men. Coils designed to
repel mosquitoes did not work to prevent transmission of chikungunya
- Mosquitoes are very lazy, they
bite someone in a household and get infected with a virus and then bite
someone else in the same home or very nearby.
- The extra time women spend in and
around their home means they are at increased risk
of getting infected by the mosquito
is a viral infection that is
transmitted by mosquitoes. A study by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health, Institut Pasteur along with the International Centre
for Diarrhoeal Disease Research has found that the disease is caused by the
infection that is harbored in and around homes.
transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegyptii and the study focused on a rural
village in Bangladesh to understand the spread of the disease. The insights
that were obtained from the study are published in the Journal Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences
and are useful to guide research aimed
at understanding yellow
, spread by
the same mosquito.
‘Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes. A study in a rural village of Bangladesh highlighted its risk factors and also provided clues for better management.’
Dr Henrik Salje,
who is the lead of the study and a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of
Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School apart from being a visiting scientist at
Institut Pasteur. "Typically when there is an outbreak, we study who is
sick and try to understand why. In this case, we not only studied those who
became infected with chikungunya, but also those who avoided illness. This
allowed us to determine what factors may impact who comes down with a disease
and who does not - and to help us determine the best way to intervene."
Palpara is a
small village which is about 60 miles from the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka
where there was an outbreak of chikungunya in the year 2012. The team of
researchers visited all households to understand the spread of
- Study conducted during the period
between May 29th and Dec 2012
- 460 households were visited by the
team of researchers.
- 1,933 individuals were spoken to
- 364 people had symptoms of
Mosquitoes Look for
that transmit chikungunya seemed lazy and hardly travelled far for their next
human prey. They travelled for no longer than 200 metres, leading to infective
pockets where everyone within that region was infected with the virus. This
means that closely spaced colonies were at a higher risk of being infected.
1.5 Times Higher Risk
of Women Being Infected
The researchers determined the percentage
of time that a man and a woman spent in their homes. Since mosquitoes chose
targets close by, longer periods of stay at home meant greater risk of being
- Women were home 65% of the time
- Men were home 45% of the time
Since the time
spent by women at home was far greater than men, they had a higher risk of
being infected. They were found to have 1.5 times more risk of being infected
Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Spread?
unearthed useful information about the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses
researchers found that
- Mosquito coils did not prevent
- Understanding the clusters where
infection is rampant will aid in avoiding those regions
- Poor access to medical care in
- Doctors in rural Bangladesh
are unaware of an epidemic till it is over
- No vaccine available
Dr Salje added
"We don't yet have a very good toolbox for fighting these disease. But
once we do, this research tells us how we could trigger a response and tailor
our interventions - particularly in rural communities - to those at the
greatest risk, and those people are the ones who spend the most time in and
around their homes.
The study highlights the mode of spread
of the disease and precautions that could be taken which include
- Use sprays and mosquito repellants, other than coils, which we
found to be ineffective.
- It highlights the need to determine a cost effective method of
mosquito repellant that poor rural families could use.
- Improve awareness about preventing mosquito breeding grounds
- Increase awareness about women and child health risk
Aedis aegyptii that transmits chikungunya also transmits yellow fever and
dengue, therefore defining preventive measures will prevent the spread of
Chikungunya is a
mosquito-borne illness with symptoms that could be misdiagnosed with dengue. It
is characterized by fever and severe joint pain. The duration and severity of
the joint pain varies from individual to individual.
lasts for 3 to 7 days but the joint pain may persist for months. Some people
complain of rash
associated with the condition.
Recently there have been reports of chikungunya affecting the eyes
Chikungunya is more prominent among newborns and people over the age of 65
This disease is
found in Africa, Asia and in the Indian subcontinent. However, its spread to
Europe and America has also been recorded. There was a relatively small
outbreak of the disease in a small city in Italy in 2007.
- Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment of Chikungunya - (https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/symptoms/)