Maharashtra state Health Directorate officials have confirmed that there has been an outbreak of `chikun guniya', a mosquito-transmitted viral fever in about 29 villages of Nasik district. Around 500 people who showed the symptoms of the disease have been hospitalized.
Malegon was the worst affected village with two samples of the 18 that were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, showing positive results for the fever. "Several people have been affected by this mosquito-transmitted disease in Malegon and of the 18 samples sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, two cases have been declared positive for the disease," said P P Doke, Director General of the Directorate of Health. Officials were quick to assure people that the disease was only a milder form of dengue and had "nothing to do with bird flu." Public Health Minister Vimal Mundada told the Assembly last month that were 14,000 cases of the fever in 90 places across Maharashtra. "At these 90 places, there is an outbreak of fever cases, which includes cases of dengue and chikun guniya. However, no cases of malaria were detected," the minister said.