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| Last Updated:: 23/02/2012

Chikungunya out break in West Bengal

Fear of Chikungunya epidemic looms large in Kolkata


Chikungunya has made its entry again in the city of joy. The mosquito-borne disease has resurfaced in the state capital Kolkata after four decades after being first diagnosed in the state in 1963. One after another, mosquito- borne diseases like Dengue, malaria and Chikungunya have been wreaking havoc on health profile of Kolkata. Many such outbreaks in such a short duration have not been able to awake the health authorities and make them rise to action.

Fig. A woman nursing the patient

With almost 35 cases of Chikungunya being reported only from Salt Lake in East Kolkata, escalating number of Chikungunya cases is creating a wave of panic among the people. At least 10 cases of Chikungunya have been reported from areas like Beliaghata, Narkeldanga, Ultadanga and Belgachia in North and North-East Kolkata according to a report submitted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).Thousands may have been affected by Chikungunya in North 24-Parganas, though only a handful have been admitted to hospital,” said a health department official. “More than 2.5 lakh people in the district have suffered from Chikungunya and other viral infections over the past six months.” But the health authorities and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) still seems to be unprepared for combating this mosquito menace. Senior KMC officials as well as Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya maintain that implementation of the control operations are being carried out in full swing while public is alleging the claim to be false. Continuous absence of technicians and doctors in malaria clinic at SSKM hospital in Kolkata and indiscriminant use of land acquired for establishing medical centers cut a sorry figure. While health officials are tight lipped about rising number of cases and are dismissing new cases as resurfacing of the old ones, the toll of Chikungunya and dengue in West Bengal is on rise. There is an urgent need to spread the awareness about Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases among residents to encourage community participation and in order to curb the further spread of disease.

Generasl information and preventive measures for Chikungunya and Dengue can be found here: