India is under the grip of an outbreak of chikungunya fever since 2006. The genome of the causative chikungunya virus (CHIKV) closely resembles that from Indian Ocean islands. Neither vaccines nor drugs are available for CHIKV infection in man, and the integrated vector management strategy remains the only effective control measure of this disease.

T Purushottam Bhat is one of 70,493 recorded cases of chikungunya fever in eight Indian states. His 24-member family has 19 others who fell ill to the virus transmitted by mosquitoes.

T Purushottam Bhat is one of 70,493 recorded cases of chikungunya fever in eight Indian states. His 24-member family has 19 others who fell ill to the virus transmitted by mosquitoes.

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During September-October 2006, chikungunya patients in Bangalore complaining of eye problems were studied. Nine had lesions in the eye.

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The country is in the grip of a severe spell of communicable diseases, with over 270 people having died of malaria and 15 of dengue. Chikungunya cases have also increased over last year's figures.

The government says it is prepared to deal with any adverse situation.

"We have revamped our Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme and are focussing on endemic districts. The budgetary allocation for dealing with these diseases has also been enhanced,' Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told The Hindu on Monday.

By Neha Rathi

New Delhi:People go to hospitals to get cured of deadly diseases and ailments. But what if the hospitals become the breeding grounds for diseases like malaria and dengue?

According to a report published by MCD's health department figures, various police stations and hospitals in the city have recorded over 10 per cent breeding levels, putting them in a high breeding category. Hauz Khas, Prasad Nagar, Lodhi Road, Sriniwaspuri are the police stations, while GTB, SDN and Escorts are the hospitals that have recorded high breeding.

Though virus-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya had plagued the city over the past few years, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, it seems, is yet to learn from its previous failures. This was evident when it came to light that the KMC is yet to start a proper surveillance on diseases like dengue and chikungunya though viral fever has already gripped the city.

Fall in day and night temperatures due to early onset of the monsoon and critically high mosquito breeding indices being recorded in several areas across the Capital have once again given rise to fears of a dengue outbreak looming large over Delhi. In the light of this development, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Tuesday said it is initiating a series of measures to prevent vector-borne diseases.

High breeding index

Scientists begin work on vaccine in Port Blair scientists at the Regional Medical Research Centre (rmrc) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are all set to begin work on developing a vaccine against Chikungunya, a viral infection that killed over 80 people in India in 2006.

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