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Dengue, chikungunya cases much higher than reported in India

Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 11:25 AM
New York, July 17: The number of people infected by two mosquito-borne viruses - dengue and chikungunya - is much higher than reported in India, a study by researchers at a US university has found.

The study, involving 1,000 people across 50 locations in Chennai, found that almost none of those exposed to dengue reported it.

"Our results show that the extent of the problem has been vastly underestimated," said study leader Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer, research associate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

"People are just not aware of the disease. We asked participants if they had ever been ill with dengue and only one percent of them said yes, when in fact 93 percent had been infected by it," Rodriguez-Barraquer noted.

Even though dengue is believed to be present in India since the 1940s, it is only in the past few years that there is growing recognition of the magnitude of the problem.

There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus.
Agency: IANS

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