Doctors suspended for not visiting chikungunya-hit areas

INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE, JULY 3, 2006
Bhopal, July 3 (IANS) Seven doctors in Madhya Pradesh have been suspended after they failed to report for duty in a district affected by chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral fever that has claimed two lives in the state so far, officials said Monday.
Ten doctors had been asked to report for duty in Betul district from Bhopal and nearby areas last week to check the spread of the disease. However, only three reported at their respective places of posting.
Over 30,000 people in 120 villages in Betul are afflicted with chikungunya, health officials said.
The disease, which has been reported in Madhya Pradesh for the first time, reportedly spread from villages in Betul district bordering Maharashtra, officials said.
The spread of the disease, akin to dengue, was first reported in Maharashtra in 1965.
‘A victim of chikungunya gets fever, which can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit. After an incubation period of three-12 days, there is a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms, including severe headache, chills, nausea, vomiting and joint pain,’ said S.C. Tiwari, Hamidia Hospital superintendent.
‘A rash may occur sometimes and arthritis affects multiple joints, which can be debilitating. Most patients recover within three-five days. Some can suffer from joint pain for months. The joints of the extremities in particular become swollen and painful to touch. Children may display neurological symptoms,’ Tiwari said.
Health Director Yogiraj Sharma said they were leaving no stone unturned in tackling the disease.
‘The situation is being regularly monitored and every step is being taken to curb the disease. Required medicines are being supplied in ample quantity. Arrangements for spraying insecticide to kill the mosquitoes is also being administered in all the affected areas,’ state Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi told IANS. The doctors had been suspended on the directives of Vishnoi.

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