The health department confirmed the season’s first case of chikungunya from civil hospital, Gurgaon, on Saturday. A 35-year-old man on a visit to the city from Bihar tested positive for the vector-borne disease.
“The patient has not been admitted to the hospital. His condition does not require admission. The patient’s platelet count is being closely monitored,” Ramesh Dhankhar, chief medical officer, civil hospital, said.
Chikungunya is a viral infection transmitted by Aedes Aegypti mosquito -- the same mosquito that is the carrier of dengue virus. Its symptoms are similar to those of dengue, including high fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, joint swelling and body rash. Unlike dengue, it is a self-limiting disease and the mortality rate is low.
The official confirmation comes a few days after HT highlighted that suspected cases were reported at private and government hospitals.
No official data is available on the number of cases so far.
Unlike dengue, chikungunya is not a notifiable disease. It is not mandatory for doctors and hospitals to immediately report every case of chikungunya to the health department and, hence, the lack of data. They can take time to compile the data and can send it over a week or send the combined figures at the end of the month, a source at civil hospital said.
Till July 31, no cases of chikungunya were registered with the district health department.
Similar to dengue, there is no specific treatment for chikungunya. Supportive therapies such as administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and rest may be beneficial.
The diagnostic test for dengue costs Rs 600 -- a cap imposed by the health department two months ago.
The same does not apply to chikungunya and the price of a test can vary from Rs 800 to Rs 4,500.