August 24, 2006

Rare Fever affects Hundreds in India’s Gujarat

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Hundreds of people with high fever and severe body aches have been admitted to hospitals in the West Indian state Gujarat, officials said on Thursday.

They said the illness was likely to be Chikungunya, a rare form of viral fever spread by mosquitoes.

Gujarat was hit by heavy rains and floods this month, and health officials had warned of disease outbreaks.

More than 900 people were being treated for the fever in the state's main city Ahmedabad, while in Surat -- the nerve-center of India's diamond-polishing trade -- officials asked people not to visit crowded places and to clean stagnant water.

Surat has reported 63 cases with similar symptoms.