According to State Health Department, the control and preventive measures are in place against chikungunya and added that hospitals are equipped to handle the cases. However, the doctors in the government hospitals in city said that residents remain unaware of the rising risk of chikungunya.
As per the data available with National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, 623 chikungunya cases were reported in 2019, the highest in the past five years. After recording 329 cases in 2015, the cases dipped in 2016 and 2017, reporting 86 cases and 131 cases respectively. In 2018, 284 chikungunya cases were reported.
This year, 189 cases have been reported across the State till September 13. Health Department officials said that the numbers of cases were high last year due to outbreaks in several districts, including Erode, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Karur and Ariyalur. Officials added that steps were being taken to bring the rise in cases under control with effective preventive measures.
Entomological surveys done by the Health Department confirmed the presence of aedes larvae. However, the priority accorded to pandemic prevention measures brought anti-larval activities to a halt for few months.
“The cases of dengue are low when compared to earlier years, and similar preventive measures have been taken to bring down the number of chikungunya case, too. The surge in cases are witnessed in the months of October-December. So anti-larval and source reduction activities are being taken to keep the numbers low,” said Dr TS Selvavinayagam, director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.