, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 8-17
Date: 03 Sep 2010

Reemergence of Chikungunya virus in Indian Subcontinent

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Abstract

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a reemerging arboviral disease of public health concern is characterized by a triad of fever, rash and arthralgia. It was responsible for a number of epidemics in Asia and Africa. The severity of the current epidemic can be judged by the fact that an estimated 1.38 million people in India and one-third of the La Reunion population (by April 2006) were affected by CHIKV. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the major mosquitoes transmitting CHIKV in Asia. Various neurological complications and CHIKV associated deaths were encountered during the current outbreak (2005–2010). The aggressive nature of the recent CHIKV epidemic was attributed to the mutations in the viral genome in addition to their adaptation and spread to vectors like Aedes albopictus. Proper diet, adequate rest and symptomatic treatment using non-salicylate analgesics and Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) helped the patients in recovering from CHIKV infections. In the absence of an effective vaccine, rapid implementation of mosquito control measures and establishment of a system for continuous surveillance of the disease seems to be the only possible solution to prevent any such outbreak in the near future.