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Monday, November 6, 2006

Chikungunya declared a `notifiable disease'

Hospitals and laboratories must report new cases

MADURAI: The State Government has declared Chikungunya a `notifiable disease' under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.

"This is a milestone in the Chikungunya control programme," S. Elango, Joint Director of Public Health, told The Hindu here on Sunday. A Government Order issued on October 26 under Section 52 listed chikungunya along with other notifiable diseases such as dengue, cholera, malaria, typhoid, chickenpox and HIV/AIDS, said Dr. Elango who was here to attend a Continuing Medical Education Programme said.

The Act makes it mandatory for all private hospitals and laboratories to report chikungunya cases to the Health department.

Action could be initiated if the institutions failed to report to the Government, he added.

The notification would help the Directorate of Public Health to get enough data on the incidence of the vector-borne disease and enable the Government to take early preventive measures, he said.

Decision hailed

According to Dr. Elango, the Government decision was hailed at the national level and experts involved in the national vector-borne diseases control programme urged other States to follow the Tamil Nadu model.

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