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Chikungunya assumes epidemic proportions

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, July 4 (UNI) Thousands of persons are in the grip of fever as the contagious ailment 'chikungunya' has assumed epidemic proportions in three districts adjoining Maharashtra and the Madhya Pradesh's government has suspended seven doctors for not reaching affected areas even after being posted.

''Betul is the worst-affected while the other districts are Chhindwara and Badwani. However, the situation is under control and even the Maharashtra government has praised my department's rapid action,'' MP's Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi told reporters at Mantralaya today.

Admitting four fatalities in Betul, he added it was yet to be confirmed whether they were due to the disease.

''There is no paucity of either staff or resources and we are monitoring the situation round the clock. Seventy blood samples have been dispatched to the New Delhi-based National Institute of Communicable Diseases and a report is expected next week,'' the minister added.

The first report was received from Betul on May 31. Later, cases came to light in the other two districts. 'Chikungunya' is spread by mosquito bites.

''A campaign has been launched to disseminate information about eliminating mosquitoes. Besides spraying, mosquito larvae are being destroyed in waterlogged public places. It would be wrong to say that there was any carelessness in tackling the situation,'' Mr Vishnoi claimed while discounting any need to declare the three districts as epidemic-ravaged.

Chikungunya has been confirmed in Maharashtra.

UNI SD-AC PA RK1900

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