N.W.A.N.Y Wijesekara, K.S.P. Fernando.
Introduction: The fever epidemic reported from the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka in April to May 2008 has been due to Chickungunya virus. Many fever cases were reported from the Yatiyanthota Medical Officer of Health area with the symptoms of Chickungunya fever. We wanted to confirm if the fever patients found in Yatiyanthota were also having Chickengunya fever.
Methodology: We collected blood samples of 15 patients who were having fever and a history suggestive of Chickengunya infection. We sent the samples to the Medical Research Institute (MRI) for Chickungunya IgM. Out of the 15 samples, 10 have been tested randomly. In addition, we asked the above patients if they did or did not have the typical symptoms of Chickungunya fever i.e. arthralgia, myalgia, headache, nausea and rash.
Results: Out of the 15 blood samples tested, 9 were positive for Chickungunya IgM.
Discussion: 90% rate for Chickungunya IgM is highly suggestive that the current fever epidemic is due to Chickungunya virus. However, concurrent dengue infection cannot be excluded.
All 15 patients (100%) had arthrlgia while 14 (93%) had myalgia. Nausea 13 (86%) was slightly more common than headache 12 (80%). Rash was observed only in 8 out of 15 patients (53%).
Thus serology as well as the symptomatology of the selected patients is in favor of Chickungunya infection. Thus it is reasonable to assume that the fever patients reported from Yatiyanthota MOH area are also due to Chichungunya.
RDHS, Kegalle and his staff especially Dr. Dushyanthi Wijesinghe, Regional Epidemiologist, Kegalle.
Public Health Inspectors.
Medical Research Institute.
Dr. Nagalingam, retired RMO.