Although chikungunya outbreak is limited in Dhaka city this year, people in rural areas are at risk of the disease as studies showed presence of aedes mosquitoes.
Senior Scientific Officer of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Dr SM Alamgir told the news agency, "Two species of mosquito -- aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus -- cause chikungunya diseases. Presence of aedes albopictus mosquito in rural areas is very high compared to urban areas.
The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of aedes mosquitoes, he said, adding, "Suspected chikungunya patients should visit nearby health complexes and hospitals to prevent outbreak of the disease."
Dr Alamgir said, "People living in rural areas and Dhaka city should be aware of chikungunya disease... First case of chikungunya disease in the country was reported in Poba upazila of Rajshahi in 2008."
"We also found some chikungunya cases in rural areas after its first outbreak in Bangladesh. So, rural areas are also venerable for the disease," he added.
He said though IEDCR is getting three to five samples for chikungunya case every day against 25 to 30 cases, it does not indicate that outbreak of the disease is decreasing as a huge number of people left Dhaka during Eid-ul-Fitr.
"We are apparently thinking that outbreak of the disease has decreased a little bit but we have to wait for next few days to confirm the real scenario of the disease," he said.
"Alongside eliminating the breeding sources of mosquito, people should be educated on the diseases as there is no special treatment of the diseases."
Director of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora said, "We got 1,930 chikungunya suspected cases till June 21 this year."
She suggested destroying all potential mosquito breeding sources as the outbreak of chikungunya disease in the capital has increased sharply this year.
Dr Flora said a massive awareness campaign is needed to destroy the breeding sources of mosquito for stopping outbreak of chikungunya disease.
Health experts said chikungunya affected people should drink much water and take full rest. There is no need of any laboratory test as the diseases could be recognized easily by observing some common symptoms.
At a press conference held recently, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Kalam Azad said, "Chikungunya is not serious like other mosquito-borne diseases. After a particular time, patients get recovery without receiving any special medical treatment."
Chikungunya infected patients should not be admitted to hospitals and even they do not need to go to hospitals for any test to diagnose the disease, he added.
Chikungunya is a viral disease which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Health experts said symptoms of the disease appear between four and seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of high fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms of the disease include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, they said, adding, the joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks.
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