Is India in the throes of a fever outbreak? | MettaBlog.com

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Is India in the throes of a fever outbreak? Every other day, the news arrives with depressing regularity: viral fevers are tormenting a city, or a town, or a cluster of villages in India. People are sick everywhere.

The capital, Delhi, is fighting an outbreak of chikungunya. Next door, Haryana is battling malaria. Down south, the info-tech hub of Bangalore is grappling with both. Dengue has returned with a vengeance in Kolkata and its neighbouring areas. Clinics in populous Uttar Pradesh are swamped with patients suffering from fever.

So, is India in the grip of a "fever outbreak"?

Research by the Delhi-based Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), one of the world's largest medical research bodies, offers some clues.
'Fever upsurge'

Each of ICMR's 40 laboratories across India test anything up to 1,000 blood samples a month. Some 12% of these have tested positive for dengue since January, up from 5% last year. And 10% of the samples have tested positive for the chikungunya virus since July. Blood samples for testing have also doubled at these labs since the onset of rains.

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