The politics of a disease

Many persons I know have come down with chikungunya for as less as three days up to a couple of weeks. The disease is accompanied by fever and severe and sometimes crippling ache in the joints.
Doctors where I live in Triplicane say that they don’t record patients coming down with chikugunya. They have a pretty simple reason: they don’t know how to properly identify the disease. They recognize the symptoms and prescribe the medicine.

I am not sure if the virus that causes chikungunya cannot be properly detected. The doctor who gave me this information practices a famous hospital in Chennai. He says it can’t be. I hope and pray this isn’t true.
The disease is rampant here in Chennai but also in many other parts of the State and in neighbouring Kerala. Is the unhygienic condition of the city’s rivers one of the reasons for the spreading of the disease? Or does that depend on which party you support, the AIADMK or the ruling DMK?
Over the last couple of weeks, Ms J.Jayalalithaa has made stinging allegations against the current dispensation, laying at its door the blame for 155 deaths and then, revising her figures, some 232 deaths. She claims that these persons – she actually listed them out – died of chikungunya, but Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has dismissed the allegations. The health department has already clarified that there are no chikungunya deaths in the state.
MK, writing in his party’s mouthpiece, Murasoli, has said that the persons that Ms Jayalalithaa listed out had already died by the time chikungunya arrived in the state. Some names were those of people who had committed suicide, he said.
The local body polls are round the corner, and both parties have just completed negotiations on sharing seats with allies. It is understandable that MK is not in a mood to inquire into the allegations and instead chooses to summarily dismiss them.
But deaths or no deaths, chikungunya must have affected one in 10-20 in the city. I am just going by the number of people who have been affected by the disease around me. They really seem to be a lot of them around.
Isn’t it about time the city recorded what is happening? How many people has the disease actually affected? Are private and government hospitals recording the names and addresses of people who are coming down with the disease? If not, then why not? Isn’t this data important?
Those questions, I suspect, won’t and should not die.

14 Comments so far

  1. rads (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 2:14 am

    Heard it’s quite the rage. My parents both are down alternately from viral fever [the doc is sure it isn’t this gunya thing] and it hurts to see this bug create such havoc.

    Wihout differential diagnosis, it’s like driving blind.


  2. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

    Of course there is the fact that Chikungunya is the “in” illness and so everybody with an attack of the flu (like I’ve got this week — I hope; no joint pains, yet!) or even malaria (which could be a dangerous mis-diagnosis) is going to say that they have it.

    The state of the waterways is a disgrace to Chennai, and can only be a health risk in many ways (including breading malarial mosquitoes) but, it seams that the mossie that spreads chikungunia likes clean water — and householders with un-covered tanks on their roof are more to blame for it breading than the corporation and the rivers. So let everybody check out their own tanks!


  3. Maruthiah (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    In my village it (chickenguniya) is doing round for the last 3 months or so. both my parents are down with the virus. I have stopped visiting my village because of this fear.

    there are some old man/woman died after cg infection.

    rellay sucks to know that even after 100 days we are not able to cure .

    really nobody cares abt the ppl.


  4. Maruthiah (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    Atleast 3000 must have been affected with this virus

    Thanks
    Maruthiah


  5. Maruthiah (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

    Atleast 3000 must have been affected with this virus in my village itself


  6. Deepak (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

    I will in Kottur near MRTS and whole lot of ppl are affected by this disease. I came to know from my mother in law that there is a Homeopathy doctor who cures this disease in 3 days. He is located behind S.P. Hospital St.mount. He charges very nominal fee of around 120 bucks which is also including the medicines which he prescribes. So go on give a shot for those affected ppl. Nothing harm

    Deepak


  7. Ajay Shroff (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

    Get Well Soon Nandhu.
    Ajay


  8. nandhu (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 7:01 pm

    hey,
    ajay: i did not come down with chikungunya, merely blogged about it. so thanks, but i am fine, really.

    i havent heard about what might cure the disease. even allopathic treatment seems to be possible.


  9. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 1:07 am

    There’s no cure for flu, which kills many, worldwide. There’s no cure for the common cold.

    Maybe there’s no cure for chikungunya — at least in allopathic medicine.


  10. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 1:18 am

    It’s got its own website! And despite the .uk tag, this seems to be about the disease in India: http://www.chikungunya.co.uk/


  11. nandhu (unregistered) on September 27th, 2006 @ 6:57 am

    that is a blog, not a website. and chikungunya is spelt in three different ways. wikipedia, however, has a detailed site. for news, use google.


  12. azhar khan (unregistered) on September 28th, 2006 @ 7:30 am

    Munsif anHyderabad based d Siasat Urdu Daily Editors grab Waqf Lands : Akbaruddin Owaisi
    MiM Floor leader in assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi with MiM party MLAs
    HYDERABAD BASED MUNSIF AND SIASAT URDU DAILY EDITORS GRAB WAQF LANDS
    Urdu Media War and the Wakf properties tussle in Hyd ; MiM Leader Akbaruddin Owaisi
    (Friday, Dec 09, 2005 – 09:00 pm) TeamMedia war among Urdu dailies was taken to Assembly in Hyderabad, when MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi accused Siasat and Munsif Urdu daily owners of grabbing Wakf properties and demanded stern action against them.Mr Owaisi armed with statistics and details of all Waqf Lands which are being encroached upon said govt is going soft on these editors as they are trying to threaten the govt through there newspapers .In the same breath, He also alleged that no action was taken against grabbers of Wakf properties in city and outside including Viceroy Hotel, Shaam and Sensation theatres, local reports inform. Turning his ire on owners of rival Urdu dailies, Siasat and Musif, he said, “Mr Zahid Ali Khan has illegally encroached Wakf property. He is a white collar land grabber. Why is the government keeping quite? You should put them behind bars.” Shifting his heat on another Urdu daily Munsif owner, he remarked, “Mr Khan Lateef Khan…the double Khan.. too has encroached Wakf properties housing Santosh and Sapna theatres, yet no action has been taken. The government should take stringent action against encroachers of Wakf properties,” he alleged. Reacting to Mr Owaisi’s demand, minister for minorities welfare Mohd Fareeduddin assured that the government would enquire into the matter and would not “spare anyone however big he might be.” Referring to allotment of land to one Tajuddin, he said the land was given on a lease for three years for agricultural purposes and the renewal would depend on the government He also accused them of trying to cover there illegal grabbing of land by bribing some high officals in the govt


  13. phantom363 (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 7:05 am

    hi,

    at first i could not relate azhar’s note with the others. then i looked at the title of the post. the politics of the disease. azhar’s is more on the target than anyone else. way to go. :)


  14. Dr.P.K.Sasidharan (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

    What Chikungunya reminds us????Pollitics is brought into everything by the short sighted people with vested interests- unnecesarily leading to kneejerk responses from the authorities to settle the allegations. Everyone conveniently forgets the prorities like environmental hygiene, balalnced diet and safe drinking water. We believe in starting a virology institute for isoalting the virus or a superspecialty hospital for giving ultramodern treatment for the affected victims. The valuable resources are wasted and everyone is happy. How long this gimmick can go on? We need people with vision to supervise evrything.We need doctors and politicians with vision and social commitment, social awareness, social outlook and social concern



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