Chikungunya Current Affairs - 2019

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Health Ministry launches Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan in New Delhi

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) have launched a 3 day special campaign called Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan in New Delhi. It is a campaign aimed towards sensitizing and mobilising community for prevention and control of vector borne diseases (VBDs) such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Malaria. The 3 day campaign will be held from 17 to 19 July 2019 in New Delhi.

About Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan

Objective: To make community a partner for checking vector/mosquito breeding across Delhi.

Need: As per data compiled by Health ministry shows that till 30 June 2019at least 8,058 positive dengue cases with 8 deaths, 14404 chikungunya cases have been reported from across country. Also a total of 66,313 Malaria cases have also been reported across country till 31 May 2019.

JJA is going to be a Peoples Movement by active involvement of people’s representatives, officers from Centre Government, Government of NCT Delhi, all 3 Delhi Municipal Corporations, NDMC, Railways and Cantonment board and other stakeholders to combat dengue, malaria and chikungunya.

For 1st time 3 governments agencies- national, state and local bodies have come together to create awareness amongst people for a public health activity.

Strategy Followed:

A total of 286 ward-wise teams i.e. 272 Municipal wards and 14 locations of NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) have been constituted with 20-25 members per team.

Each ward team includes field workers of Municipal Corporation, officers of Central Government and Delhi Government.

The concerned Malaria circle incharge will coordinate and teams will visit schools, residential areas, hospitals, Resident Welfare Association (RWA), market associations etc.

Activities Undertaken:

Schools– Team will meet Head of Institution/Principal, teachers and staff including nodal teacher and sensitise them towards keeping school premises free of vectors, will address school children explaining methods for prevention of VBDs, demonstrate larvae and adults of vector mosquito, distribute handbills and other communication material and check school premises, eliminate breeding habitat if any.

Hospitals: Team will meet Medical Superintendent/Nodal Officer/Caretaker and sensitize them followed by health talk on prevention and control of VBDs. The team will also place Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials with messages on prevention and control of VBDs at strategic locations and interact with patients and accompanied person. Team will check hospitals premises for breeding of vector mosquito, eliminate breeding habitat if any.

Similarly, teams will also meet members of RWA and community and undertake awareness activities with them.

Wherever needed larvicide will be applied by team.

Researchers develop potent molecule to treat chikungunya

Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee have identified two small potent molecules Pep-I and Pep-II, for their inhibitory activity to treat Chikungunya disease. The antiviral activity of these molecules was so high that their small amount was able to achieve almost 99% reduction in virus. Currently, there are no drugs to treat chikungunya or any vaccine to prevent it.

Key Facts

The antiviral activity was tested by adding molecules directly into virus culture. Using structure-based studies of chikungunya virus-specific nsP2 protease, researchers had identified two small molecules Pep-I and Pep-II for their inhibitory activity against vector borne disease.

Protease inhibitors have already been used successfully against HIV and hepatitis C virus. Pep-I, one of two molecules has superior antiviral activity against chikungunya virus. It was found to effectively bind to protein of virus (nsP2 protease) and prevent virus from replicating. It is hypothesised that any molecule that inhibits nsP2 protease is having antiviral activity.

During studies it was confirmed that both molecules have significant ability to kill virus. Pep-I molecule was very efficient in killing the virus, 99% reduction in virus at 5 microMolar and Pep-II molecule showed reduced antiviral activity of only 50% even at a higher concentration of about 200 microMolar. The two molecules also reduced viral RNA thus confirming the antiviral activity.

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a disease. It is transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Its symptoms are characterised by abrupt fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet, and may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. There is no commercial vaccine to treat chikungunya. Chikungunya treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids.