|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 105-106
Strengthening prevention and control activities to respond to the challenge of emergence of Chikungunya in American and European regions
Saurabh Rambiharilal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||12-Oct-2016|
Saurabh Rambiharilal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening prevention and control activities to respond to the challenge of emergence of Chikungunya in American and European regions. Environ Dis 2016;1:105-6
|How to cite this URL:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening prevention and control activities to respond to the challenge of emergence of Chikungunya in American and European regions. Environ Dis [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 May 22];1:105-6. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2016/1/3/105/191985
Chikungunya is an infectious disease transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes.  Even though, the disease was initially restricted to the Africa, Asia, and the Indian region, nevertheless in the recent years, the disease has been reported in both European and American region, and overall more than sixty nations had reported cases. , The entomological assessment has identified both Aedes aegypti (tropic and sub-tropical region) and Aedes albopictus (temperate and cold temperate regions) responsible for the massive outbreaks of the disease. , The current estimates suggest close to 2 million cases have been notified in the South-East Asian region since 2005, whereas around 0.73 million cases were reported in the American region in 2015 alone. ,
Although the disease is clinically characterized by fever and joint pains, it is quite difficult for a clinician to ascertain it precisely as the symptoms have a close resemblance with clinical manifestations of dengue or even Zika virus disease.  Further, despite being self-limiting in nature, the associated joint pain is quite severe and may extend up to several weeks. , The disease can be diagnosed either through serological tests (to confirm the presence of antibodies) or through virus isolation.  However, the disease cannot be cured and is managed symptomatically, nevertheless recovery from the infection confers lifelong immunity. 
Moreover, the disease can be a significant factor accounting for fatality as reported across various outbreaks, and even imposes a significant burden on the health system, and societal cost. ,, Amidst the absence of a commercially available vaccine, it is quite challenging to contain the outbreak, and all the efforts are directed toward interrupting the transmission.  As it is a known fact that the proximity of the vector breeding sites to human habitations is the predominant risk factor for acquiring the infection, the prevention and control activities primarily target the breeding sites (natural and artificial water-filled containers). , In addition, practical applications of the anopheline biology (viz., time of biting, indoor or outdoor biting, etc.), in containing the disease such as spraying of insecticides or educating the community (like clothing which minimizes skin exposure or applications of repellents to the exposed skin) also plays an important role in reducing the magnitude of the outbreak. ,
Further, strategic mobilization and complete involvement of the members of the community is one of the critical pillars of containing the outbreak.  Moreover, the health practitioners should be sensitized with the clinical manifestations, so that they can notify the health authorities at the earliest before the disease becomes a bigger outbreak. , In addition, the travelers visiting the endemic regions should be well-informed about the potential risks, preventive behavior, and the need to approach health facilities on the identification of symptoms. , The World Health Organization has assisted the endemic nations by devising evidence-based outbreak management plans, extending technical support, and guidance to nations for the adequate management of cases, strengthening of the reporting systems, organizing training sessions for the health professionals, and in assisting nations to improve their capacity building and social mobilization strategies. ,
To conclude, despite being rarely fatal, the recent introduction of the vector in the European and American region has posed a big challenge for the stakeholders. The current need is to strengthen prevention and control activities and to ensure that all possible vector breeding sites are abolished.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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