Saturday, November 25, 2017

Health minister blames Dhaka city corporations for spread of Chikungunya

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2017-07-12 02:22:36 BdST


The two city corporations of Dhaka should take the blame for the rise in Chikungunya cases, Health Minister Mohammed Nasim has said.

"The city corporations lack sincerity in exterminating mosquitoes and keeping the city clean, which is why the disease has been spreading," he told parliament on Tuesday.

The ministry is working on Chikungunya treatment and awareness out of sheer responsibility, and is not in any way liable for elimination of Aedes mosquito population that carries the virus, said Nasim.

"That is the sole task of the city corporations. It is in no way a task of the ministry. But we have taken measures and the situation is under control."

The minister asked the media to not create panic over the disease which is "not deadly". People suffering from normal fever have also been panicking, he said.

"There is no cause for alarm even though the disease has spread. It is not a deadly disease."

"I'll request our news media to not spread panic. It does not take long to bring the conditions under control. The patient has to take rest and paracetamol and drink lots of water before they recover in four to five days.”

One in every 11 persons suffering fever actually has Chikungunya, he said. "So far there are reports of 625 people having Chikungunya among 2,700 patients who took lab tests." 

Those who reported having the disease from outside Dhaka were found to have contracted the virus during their stay in the capital, the minister said.

Chikungunya was first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952.

The virus belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. The name Chikungunya derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.

The symptoms of dengue and Chikungunya are almost similar but joint pains are more severe in cases of Chikungunya, according to doctors.

“Chikungunya patients can hardly move due to severe body ache and joint pains,” said Dr SM Alamgir at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research.

Other symptoms include muscle ache, chills, rashes and nausea.

Residents living in 23 neighbourhoods of Dhaka face greater risks of contracting the disease, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.