Andaman's RMRC working to develop vaccines of Chikungunya

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Port Blair, May 09 (UNI) The Regional Medical Research Centre of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has initiated studies on development of vaccines against Chikungunya Fever to stop its outbreak in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Southern India.

Although the outbreak has subsided now, the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti is widely prevalent in these islands. Therefore, further outbreaks may occur and there is a necessity to be vigilant against this, relatively less studied disease, Dr Vijayachari, Director, Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Port Blair told UNI here today.

The RMRC, which has been recently redesignated as World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Leptospirosis, has initiated studies on patho-physiology of the disease using animal models as well as development of vaccines against the viral infection.

In 2006 nearly 12 lakh people in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were affected by Chikungunya, which leaves patients helpless for months, with severe joint pain and fever. Chikungunya had also claimed nearly 81 lives till October 2006.

The Regional Medical Research Centre was established in 1983 as one of the permanent Centres of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at Andaman.

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