Sudden spike in chikanguniya cases in Delhi

There has been a sudden increase in chikanguniya cases in the national capital, with 188 blood samples testing positive for this mosquito-borne disease in the last one and a half months at the AIIMS itself.
Health experts have attributed the rise to a possible evolution in the virus that carries this disease and change in weather factors like humidity. What we have found out is that suddenly number of chikanguniya cases have increased in Delhi as also in several other parts of the country.
The disease is caused by the same aedes aegypti mosquito which causes dengue but the difference is that dengue virus had four strains while chikanguniya has only one, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) Director, A C Dhariwal, told reporters here.
At a press conference held at the AIIMS on the sidelines of a workshop on dengue, Dhariwal and other health experts acknowledged the sudden spike in chikanguniya cases, but appealed to people not to panic. Number of cases of chikanguniya testing positive in AIIMS lab itself shows the situation, and even in case dengue, I would say, people should not panic, the NVBDCP Director said.
From July 1 to August 10, we tested 325 blood samples in our labs, out of which 188 were found positive for chikanguniya,” an AIIMS doctor said. Dhariwal says the rise in the cases this year could be because of chikanguniya virus showing some evolution compared to last year and weather conditions proving conducive to its growth. In this case, what we call the ‘incubation period’, the time it takes for the virus to develop the disease syndromes after it enters a patient following a mosquito bite, may have been reduced, resulting in spike in cases. In dengue case, on the other hand, the incubation period is longer compared to chikanguniya,” he said.

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