Dengue and Chikungunya infections among febrile children in Busia County Referral Hospital
Infections leading to fever are the largest causes of child morbidity and mortality in Africa. Dengue and Chikungunya infections are among viral diseases that cause fever even in traditionally malaria endemic areas. We set out to determine the prevalence and risk factors of Dengue and Chikungunya infections and estimate coinfection with malaria among children aged between 1 and 12 years presenting with fever at Busia County Referral Hospital in Western Kenya.
We sampled a cross section of children presenting with fever. We interviewed the parents/guardians of these children and collected blood samples and tested by microscopy for malaria and by conventional PCR for dengue and chikungunya. We found that chikungunya was prevalent among febrile children and infection was more likely among children presenting with vomiting and children with positive blood slide for malaria. None of the children screened was found to have dengue.
Our results suggest that mainly chikungunya virus appears to be actively circulating in western Kenya even in the absence of a declared outbreak. We recommend the establishment of prevention measures and routine laboratory testing of febrile cases for chikungunya in western Kenya.
Article by Isaac Ngere– Resident, Kenya FELTP