Viral fever sweeps Jaffna, northeast

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 November 2006, 01:16 GMT]
Viral fever, suspected to be Chikungunya, is spreading rapidly amongst people in Jaffna, medical experts said Sunday. “In Jaffna, this viral fever which has the symptoms of Chikungunya is spreading very fast. I find that more than 5,000 people have been infected," Dr. A. Ketheeswaran, director of provincial health services there, told Reuters. The disease has been confirmed spreading rapidly in Kalmunai, Mannar, Batticaloa, Puttalam and parts of Colombo.

Food and medical supplies are in short supply in the northern peninsula, which remains cut off with the government refusing to open the A9 highway which it closed during heavy fighting in August.

Jaffna residents told Reuters doctors had recommended paracetamol as a fever preventive, but most shops had run out.

An epidemic of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya viral fever has been confirmed elsewhere in the island, a top health official told Reuters Saturday.

Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, director of the state Epidemiology Department, said pockets of the fever had been detected in Sri Lanka's northwest, south and east, but could not say how many cases had been reported.

"We have got some samples down to Colombo and we handed them over to five different laboratories. All five have reported it as Chikungunya," Abeysinghe said. "You could say it is (an epidemic)."

"We have confirmed there is an outbreak going on in Kalmunai, Mannar, Batticaloa, Puttalam and some parts of Colombo city," he added. "It is in densely populated pockets."

Abeysinghe said he believed up to 60 percent of reported fever cases were due to Chikungunya.

"There are several different fevers. Not all fevers reported are Chikungunya," he said, but added that bird flu was "very, very unlikely because there are no respiratory symptoms, no cough or cold or anything like that".

However laboratories had yet to confirm whether an outbreak of viral fever in the northern Jaffna peninsula, cut off from the rest of the country for months was Chikungunya as suspected.

The outbreak comes as Sri Lanka also grapples with a sharp increase in dengue fever cases as monsoon rains create breeding conditions for mosquitoes which carry the diseases, Reuters reported.

Symptoms of Chikungunya include high fever, joint and muscular pain, severe headaches, body aches and a rash similar to that seen in dengue patients. While the disease is painful, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says no deaths from Chikungunya have been documented in scientific literature.

Abeysinghe said it was very unlikely that Chikungunya caused the death on the peninsula of a Tamil woman suffering from viral fever on Friday.

"It is very unlikely to be (due to Chikungunya). There may be a lot of other disease conditions associated with these people who are reported to have died due to Chikungunya," he said.

Chikungunya, Swahili for "that which bends up", was first isolated in the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, the CDC said.

 

Latest 15 Reports
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
06.10.19 12:21  
EPDP joins Jaffna protest against desecration of Neeraaviyadi temple
05.10.19 22:06  
Families inheriting lands from parents refused of land registration in Moothoor East
04.10.19 21:50  
SL Archaeology, Police continue to disturb Tamils’ right to worship at Vedukku-naa'ri hilltop
03.10.19 19:16  
Raghavan plans to distribute uncultivatable lands to Tamils to compensate for loss of fertile lands
02.10.19 22:28   Photo
No place for human rights in China’s white paper for future world
01.10.19 18:26  
Genocidal Sri Lanka hits back at UN, claims it passed ‘litmus test’ on human rights in 2019
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=20405