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Andamans reeling from 'mystery disease'
August 03, 2006 11:05 IST
A disease till now unknown to the people of Andaman and Nicobar has struck the islands.
It has rendered many with ailments similar to flu, but with severe joint ache.
Though the locals have panicked, the doctors have said that the disease is a known viral disease and asked the people not to panic.
"There is no reason to panic as it is a viral disease known as Chikungunya and is not fatal," said Andaman's Director of Health Services Dr N Sadasivan.
"A medical team has been constituted and will visit all the affected areas to educate people on the preventive measures to contain the disease from spreading. They will provide medicines to the affected on the spot," he added.
Dr Sadasivan told UNI that severe headache, fever, joint pains, soar throat, chills, nausea and vomiting are its symptoms.
"One diagnostic feature of the disease is joint pain in shoulders, knee, elbow and ankle joint with swollen up look with severe pain," he added.
Till now more than 1000 suspected cases of Chikungunya have been treated in Andaman and Nicobar Islands by a team of visiting doctors.
Dr Sadasivan said that blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology at Pune.
"Until the report reaches, the Chikungunya cases cannot be confirmed in these islands," he mentioned.
Mentioning about the origin of Chikungunya, the DHS said it is a type of Arbovirus disease caused by the bite of infected culicine mosquitoes (aedes aegypti/day biter) reported long back in Tanzania in Africa.
In India, a massive outbreak was reported Karnataka in 1973 after which it faded away.
Again it was reported in Karnataka last year, but in Andhra Pradesh this is common till now.
Passengers coming from mainland bring this virus with them and it is transmitted through soar throat and fever.