An epidemic of chikungunya in northwestern Bangladesh in 2011

Farhana Haque, Mahmudur Rahman, Nuzhat Nasreen Banu, Ahmad Raihan Sharif, Shamim Jubayer, Akm Shamsuzzaman, Asm Alamgir, Jesse H. Erasmus, Hilda Guzman, Naomi Forrester, Stephen P. Luby, Emily S. Gurley

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3 Scopus citations


Background In November 2011, a government hospital physician in Shibganj sub-district of Bangladesh reported a cluster of patients with fever and joint pain or rash. A multi-disciplinary team investigated to characterize the outbreak; confirm the cause; and recommend control and prevention measures. Methods Shibganj’s residents with new onset of fever and joint pain or rash between 1 September and 15 December 2011 were defined as chikungunya fever (CHIKF) suspect cases. To estimate the attack rate, we identified 16 outpatient clinics in 16 selected wards across 16 unions in Shibganj and searched for suspect cases in the 80 households nearest to each outpatient clinic. One suspect case from the first 30 households in each ward was invited to visit the nearest outpatient clinic for clinical assessment and to provide a blood sample for laboratory testing and analyses. Results We identified 1,769 CHIKF suspect cases from among 5,902 residents surveyed (30%). Their median age was 28 (IQR:15−42) years. The average attack rate in the sub-district was 30% (95% CI: 27%−33%). The lowest attack rate was found in children <5 years (15%). Anti-CHIKV IgM antibodies were detected by ELISA in 78% (264) of the 338 case samples tested. In addition to fever, predominant symptoms of serologically-confirmed cases included joint pain (97%), weakness (54%), myalgia (47%), rash (42%), itching (37%) and malaise (31%). Among the sero-positive patients, 79% (209/264) sought healthcare from outpatient clinics. CHIKV was isolated from two cases and phylogenetic analyses of full genome sequences placed these viruses within the Indian Ocean Lineage (IOL). Molecular analysis identified mutations in E2 and E1 glycoproteins and contained the E1 A226V point mutation. Conclusion The consistently high attack rate by age groups suggested recent introduction of chikungunya in this community. Mosquito control efforts should be enhanced to reduce the risk of continued transmission and to improve global health security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0212218
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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