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  • 14/11/2001

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Chikungunya virus
Mosquito borne fever, first seen along the shores of the great lakes of Africa. Was first reported along with a febrile illness in Kolkata in 1963. Resembles dengue. Has struck regularly in Vellore, Pondicherry and Chennai.

West Nile virus First observed in Uganda in 1937. Seen in Mysore area (1967) and then spread to entire central India. Causes mild fever, congestion of upper respiratory tract along with body aches. Now plagues New York and Jersey area in USA.

First appeared in Mumbai between June 1918 and July 1919. Soon spread in the subcontinent killing over 16,000,000 people. More people died of influenza in India than those killed during the First World War. Mainly transmitted through animals, especially domesticated ones.

Febrile Illnesses
Usually characterised by sudden rise of temperature, accompanied by rigors or chills, headache, body pain and mild rash. Nagpur city (1965), Jabalpur (1966), Jaipur (1971) have seen unknown febrile illnesses.

Tick borne fever from cattle and goats. Common, but largely goes unreported in India.

Kyasanur Forest Disease
A tick-borne disease. Symptoms include headache, chills, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding. Fatality rates are around 10 per cent. The disease is confined to western India, especially in forests around Mysore.

Buffalo pox: Causes fever followed by lesions on the hands, hit Mumbai in 1987.

Chandipura virus: Mosquito-borne fever. Observed near Nagpur in 1965. Also causes severe bodyache.

Ganjam virus: First observed in Africa in 1917. Discovered in India in 1954 from a pool of ticks in Orissa. Symptoms include 2-3 days of fever, headache and vomiting.

Wanowrie virus: fatal brain fever, reported in Sri Lanka and once in Pune, India.

Boutonneuse fever
Produces mild to moderate fever, rash and a lesion at the bite site. Is potentially fatal but can be treated with antibiotics. Disease peaks through the warmer months. Presently found in southern Europe, Africa, but rare in India.

Crimean-Congro haemorrhagic fever: A sudden violent fever. First reported in Pakistan in 1976 and has since spread to central Europe and Russia. Has appeared in Afghanistan and Pakistan this year and could spread to India.

Diarrhoeal diseases: Poses a imminent threat of epidemics in Bangladesh. Rotaviruses evolves faster and travels to India through migrants.

Karyovirus II: Violent and mysterious fever. Appeared in Nepal in 1994 and in upper Assam in 1995. Causes profuse bleeding and internal haemorrhage. Deforestation releases mosquitoes. These transmit it to humans using buffaloes as reservoirs.

Powassan Encephalitis: An uncommon, but potentially fatal disease that causes encephalitis. Symptoms include fever, convulsions, vomiting and breathlessness. Recorded in north America, Russia, China and southeast Asia. Is spreading fast to Thailand and Myanmar.

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