Hospital in India's capital tests nearly 890 blood samples positive for chikungunya

Safdarjung hospital in Delhi reported 480 cases of chikungunya and 316 cases of dengue till September 6 this year. Photograph:( Getty )

WION New Delhi, India Sep 08, 2016, 04.19 PM (IST)
Cases of Chikungunya are on the rise in India as the capital's All India Institute of Medical Sciences has tested nearly 890 blood test samples positive for the vector-borne Chikungunya disease in the last two months.

Hospitals across India's capital Delhi are reporting an increase in the number of cases including at Safdarjung Hospital.

AIIMS receives blood samples from several cities including Delhi and neighbouring regions.

"At our AIIMS laboratories, 885 chikungunya blood test samples have tested positive in the last two months (July- August). Cases are rising and more and more people are getting affected," Lalit Dar from the department of microbiology at AIIMS told PTI.

"At our hospital till September 6, 480 cases of chikungunya and 316 cases of dengue have been reported this year. The numbers are likely to rise with the peak of the season this month," said A K Rai, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which compiles the vector-borne disease cases report on behalf of all civic bodies, has pegged the total number of dengue cases this season at over 770.

The 128 fresh chikungunya cases, reported by the SDMC in the last one week, measures too little compared to the cases being reported at hospitals, on an average close to 200 per week.

Chikungunya is a viral illness and its symptoms are similar to those of dengue, including high-grade fever accompanied by severe joint pain, muscle pain and headache and fatigue.

Cardiologist and Indian Medical Association president-elect K K Aggarwal has cautioned about chikungunya virus (CHIKV) that can cause CHIKV-associated encephalitis.

"Children younger than one year and adults aged 65 years or older have the highest incidence of CHIKV-associated encephalitis," he said, while claiming such cases are occurring in Delhi.

(WION with inputs from PTI)
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