KARACHI : Chikungunya virus has continued to affect Karachiites as another 100 people have been diagnosed with the disease in past 24 hours.

According to Saudabad Hospital’s Dr Fakhar, the disease should be eliminated by destroying its root. He said Chikungunya is different from dengue but is being caused by mosquitoes.

He advised the people to take precautionary measures whereas he has also directed the patients to drink maximum water.

Doctors said that suspected Chikungunya fever patients are coming on daily basis but the number has descended notably.

On the other hand, Sindh Health Department has decided to launch awareness campaign and ordered the officials to hold spray in the metropolis to eliminate mosquito ‘Aedes aegypti’ carrying virus of Chikungunya.

Earlier, Secretary Health Sindh had summoned all authorities concerned to devise strategy on Chikungunya outbreak.

Secretary health had also instructed hospitals to ensure continuous provision of medical facilities to affectees.

What is Chikungunya Virus?

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia).

Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. Hence the virus can cause acute, subacute or chronic disease.

Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death. Often symptoms in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognized, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs.