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Two children infected with Chikungunya

Some 81 cases reported in the first two weeks of May.



Two young children are being treated at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in the capital for brain infections caused by the Chikungunya virus.

The pair became ill after mosquito bites, Ahmed Faisal, a paediatrician at the hospital, tweeted Saturday, advising the public to take precautionary measures such as eliminating breeding sites to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

The children are now recovering, Faisal told the media Sunday morning.

They were reportedly brought to Malé from two islands last week and admitted at the intensive care unit as their condition was serious.

Chikungunya causes symptoms such as joint aches in adults while children often face neurological problems.

According to the Health Protection Authority, 81 cases of Chikunguya and 176 cases of dengue fever were reported during the first two weeks of May.

Some 926 cases of Chikunguya have been reported so far this year, the highest number since an outbreak in 2006.

Nearly half of the cases were reported from the capital Malé and its suburb, including 375 cases reported by hospitals in Malé and 55 cases in Hulhumalé.

Some 291 cases were reported by hospitals in Gaaf Alif atoll.

The highest number of dengue cases were recorded in the northern and central atolls of Haa Dhaal, Noonu, Raa and Baa atoll.

A total of 2,102 dengue cases have been reported so far this year, with 520 cases reported in April alone.

The figure is a sharp increase from the same period of last year.

There are annual dengue outbreaks in the Maldives, although most cases are not life-threatening.