The death toll from chikungunya in Kerala touched 40 with five more deaths reported on Sunday, as two army teams and one from the navy began efforts to contain the viral fever in the worst affected districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta.
Fresh deaths were reported from Trissur, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts, while more than 100,000 people in the state have been reportedly affected by the disease with south and central districts being the worst affected.
Chikungunya is a viral infection, which spreads through the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The patient complains of fever with excessive body pain and the disease can be fatal too.
Two army teams from the Pangode unit here reached Amboori in Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta, while a 24-member naval team from Kochi began its work in Pampady in Kottayam district.
Some personnel of the teams started fogging insecticides while medical experts began treating the affected people.
The defence teams were expecting supply of medicines. Senior health officials from Delhi were also expected to visit the affected areas.
At the campsite in Amboori, a spokesman of the army team said they were doing routine health check-ups to decide if a patient should be admitted to a hospital or given medical aid.
With the spread of the diseases taking alarming proportions, the state government Thursday sought help of the armed forces and Defence Minister AK Antony immediately agreed to the demand.
An all-party meeting held here Saturday decided that a week-long cleaning campaign programme across the state would be launched on June 12 and all political parties, social organisations, National Cadet Corps, scouts and guides would help in the effort.