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Indian health minister tours fever-hit areas in south

Indian health minister tours fever-hit areas in south

India's federal government will supply emergency equipment to southern areas hit by a rare, mosquito-borne fever that has killed at least 75 people in the past month, the health minister said Friday.
After touring several hospitals in Kerala state, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters the equipment will be used to counter the outbreak of the viral disease called chikungunya, and to upgrade medical facilities.
"The (government) will supply fogging machines, mosquito nets and testing kits," Ramadoss said.
He also promised to upgrade all community health centers and local hospitals.
Tens of thousands were reported to be suffering chikungunya symptoms such as high fever and joint pain, and many were hospitalized, the Kerala state health ministry said.
Ramadoss also met with local health officials about tackling the virus. A World Health Organization team was in Kerala, working on ways to stem the outbreak.
Meanwhile, an outbreak of another mosquito-borne virus, dengue fever, continued to plague northern India where about 2,900 suspected cases have been reported in the past six weeks, with 38 deaths.
The outbreaks come as the annual monsoon season tapers off, leaving puddles of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
Dengue symptoms include high fever, joint pain, headaches and vomiting. It is fatal in rare cases. India's annual outbreak usually diminishes with the end of the mosquito breeding period in November.
In recent days, municipal authorities have been spraying pesticides in the capital, New Delhi, where 15 people have died, and in surrounding areas.