BACKGROUND: After a lapse of 30 years Chikungunya fever has re-emerged with involving millions of people leaving a number of them with significant morbidity and hampering their day to day activities and affecting the life of millions related to them thus making it a major threat to public and national health.
OBJECTIVES: - To detect the prevalence and epidemiological pattern of Chikungunya fever.
MATERIALS & METHODS: - Serum samples from the patients with clinically suspected Chikungunya fever were screened for presence of IgM antibody against Chikungunya virus by capture ELISA over a period of 3 years and the pattern of disease was studied.
RESULTS: - 439 serum samples from suspected cases were tested for presence of IgM antibody and in 32.8% it was found to be positive. The number of suspected cases has increased significantly over the study period. CHIKV was more common in rural areas (71%) than in urban areas. Positivity rate from rural and urban was 32% and 36% respectively. Cases were seen throughout the year the maximum (69.9%) was in post monsoon season. Females were the predominant sufferer comprising 58% of the total suspected. All the age groups suffered from CHIKV but majority was from 51-60 years of age.
INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: - Chikungunya fever has re-emerged as the major public health problem and the cases are on rise every year with disease mainly affecting the rural population particularly females. Chikungunya fever though expected to be related to monsoon and post monsoon seasons is showing its presence throughout the year and involves all age groups.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Immunoglobilin M (IgM).