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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Mar;14(3):412-5. doi: 10.3201/eid1403.070720.

Increased mortality rate associated with chikungunya epidemic, Ahmedabad, India.

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Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.


In 2005-2006, Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean reported approximately 266,000 cases of chikungunya; 254 were fatal (case-fatality rate 1/1,000). India reported 1.39 million cases of chikungunya fever in 2006 with no attributable deaths; Ahmedabad, India, reported 60,777 suspected chikungunya cases. To assess the effect of this epidemic, mortality rates in 2006 were compared with those in 2002-2005 for Ahmedabad (population 3.8 million). A total of 2,944 excess deaths occurred during the chikungunya epidemic (August-November 2006) when compared with the average number of deaths in the same months during the previous 4 years. These excess deaths may be attributable to this epidemic. However, a hidden or unexplained cause of death is also possible. Public health authorities should thoroughly investigate this increase in deaths associated with this epidemic and implement measures to prevent further epidemics of chikungunya.

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