For months Kerala has been battling viral attack, which is now confirmed chikungunya. It is quite shocking that a state like Kerala has not been able to rein-in the disease, that has made around 19,000 victims till now. Though, not fatal always, yet the disease eats into the vitality of the body and the patient fails to muster strength to stand or work.
Many in Kerala believe that the disease spreads into their state by Mauritius return Malayalese last year. But, the growing cases of chikungunya fever and number of casualties are far ahead of it and speak something different. The tropical rainforest areas of Kerala and perched water in the backwaters and rivers provide ample scope for breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main carrier of chikungunya virus.
People suffering from chikungunya fever show symptoms like acute headache, joint pain, conjunctival injection, and photophobia. In Kerala, around eight lakh people are reported to be under the influence of chikungunya virus. The poor and wage laborers in the rubber and tea plantations are the worst affected by the outbreak of the disease. The infection is also high among the fishermen community.
The government has failed to provide any kind of action plan against the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquito. Going a step further, the opposition parties called for a statewide bandh to protest against the government’s failure to contain the fever. It only compounded the suffering of the chikungunya patients, who fail to reach the hospitals or get adequate medication.
Kerala is mostly a rain fed state and water logging is a common site in every village and city. Aedes aegypti mosquito finds the state a perfect breeding ground for its numerous water-logged backwaters and canals. For the last two years, chikungunya fever has been resurfacing after the first monsoon showers, but the civic authorities are yet to come up with a plan. In cities like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, the government hospitals are not adequately equipped to treat chikungunya patients in separate wards and round the clock attention.