Chikungunya scare looms large in Attukal festival zone

“Lakhs will arrive in the region during the 10-day pongala festival. And a majority of the houses customarily play host to guests coming from afar.

Published: 03rd March 2020 07:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2020 07:11 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of an increasing number of chikungunya cases in Karamana and Manacaud areas -- the festival zone of Attukal Pongala -- the district medical office has stepped up measures for mosquito eradication.

Strict directions have been given to the city corporation and health workers to intensify fogging and cleaning activities ahead of the pongala festival. Following the reports of chikungunya cases, the community medicine wing at the Medical College Hospital (MCH) had conducted a rapid survey and field study to confirm the disease outbreak recently. According to the survey, at least 2,000 people have sought medical help between October 2019 and  January 2020 with chikungunya symptoms.

“Lakhs will arrive in the region during the 10-day pongala festival. And a majority of the houses customarily play host to guests coming from afar. There is bound to be more interaction which could result in the spread of the disease. Extensive fogging is required to contain the situation,” said an MCH official.
According to the data with the DMO, 90 confirmed chikungunya cases were reported in the area between October 2019 and January 2020.

“We had launched a rapid survey and field study in the area to probe the outbreak. In reality, the situation was much worse and from our study, we realised that hundreds of chikungunya cases had gone unreported. We visited Attukal Devi Trust Hospital where more than 100 in-patients received treatment. As per our survey, approximately 2,000 people might have contracted chikungunya during this period,” said the official.

Twenty out of 22 blood samples collected from the patients as part of the survey tested positive. “The festival zone comes under the outbreak epicentre and there needs to be effective intervention,” the official said. An official with the district medical office said that extensive fogging was carried out in these places on Sunday.

90 confirmed cases were reported  between October 2019 and January 2020

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