Viral disease Chikungunya quite prevalent in capital | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 01, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Viral disease Chikungunya quite prevalent in capital

Viral disease Chikungunya quite prevalent in capital

Finds study

At least 33 percent of the people in four areas of Dhaka city are suffering from Chikungunya, a viral disease that causes sudden high fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain and headache, according to the preliminary findings of a survey.
The disease is transmitted to humans through the bites of two species of mosquitoes--Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. The study warns that Chikungunya could create a major public health hazard if the prevalence continues to go up.   
“The percentage of prevalence is quite high, and the trend seems to go up if mosquito breeding is not controlled rigorously,” said Prof Mahmudur Rahman, director at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR).
The IEDCR survey was conducted on 621 people of Sutrapur, Dhanmondi, Motijheel and Mohakhali between August and September last year but the sample size is good enough to be representative of the city population, he said.
Fever triggered by Chikungunya may persist up to 12 days, and resulting joint paint for several months, said Prof Rahman. The patient can also suffer from rash, causing tremendous irritation, he told a seminar at the IEDCR in the capital.  
The disease does not have any treatment now, but once diagnosed, the patient can be sure that she or he does not need to go for treatment but to wait out the illness, said Dr Rahman, adding that if one suffered severe pain, doctors could suggest some palliatives.
While presenting the study, “Entomological and Climatic Attributes and Sero-prevalence of Chikungunya in Dhaka city”, the professor said dampness, lack of sunlight, and stagnant water in pots could create favourable conditions for the mosquitoes.
Rahman said they had yet to establish any link between climate change and Chikungunya but they could do it once the study was completed by the end of the next year.  
Chikungunya was first detected in Poba of Rajshahi in 2008. It was found in Sathia of Pabna in 2009 and in Dohar and Shibganj in 2011. There are no cases of fatalities in any of these places.  
Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), and Dr Shah Nawaz, director of DGHS, also spoke.

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