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Chikungunya in Sri Lanka

27th November 2006

Sri Lanka has reported an outbreak of viral fever in the northern part of the country which is thought to be Chikungunya.

More than 5,000 infections had been reported in and around Jaffna, officials said.

The northern peninsula remains cut off following the government's closure of the A9 highway, with food and medical supplies running short in the region.

Most shops in Jaffna had run out of paracetamol (acetominophen), residents said.

The outbreak also appeared to be spreading to other parts of the island nation, too, mostly in densely populated areas.

Doctors said that while not all fevers reported were Chikungunya, around 60 percent of cases were thought to be due to the mosquito-borne virus. Sri Lanka is also battling a sharp increase in dengue fever cases as monsoon rains create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

Symptoms of Chikungunya include high fever, joint and muscular pain, severe headaches, body aches and a rash similar to that seen in dengue patients. While the disease is painful, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says no deaths from Chikungunya have been documented in scientific literature.

 

 

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