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Indian health minister tours fever-affected areas in south India

Indian health minister tours fever-affected areas in south India

India's health minister on Friday toured areas of southern India beset by a rare mosquito-borne viral fever that has killed at least 75 people in the past month.
The minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, toured several hospitals in the worst hit Alappuzha district in the state of Kerala before holding meetings with local health officials on ways to tackle the disease, known as chikungunya.
Tens of thousands were reported to be suffering symptoms of chikungunya, such as high fever and severe joint pain, and many of them had been hospitalized, the Kerala state health ministry said.
A World Health Organization team was also in the state working on ways to stem the outbreak.
Meanwhile, an outbreak of another mosquito-borne virus, dengue fever, continued to plague northern India where some 2,900 suspected cases have been reported in the past six weeks, with 38 of those infected dying.
The outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya come as the annual monsoon season tapers off, leaving puddles of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
Female Aedes mosquitoes transmit dengue. Symptoms include high fever, joint pain, headache and vomiting. It is fatal in rare cases. India's annual outbreak normally dies off with the end of the mosquito breeding period in November.
Municipal authorities have been working to spray pesticides in New Delhi, where 15 people have died, and surrounding areas in recent days.