After COVID, now Dengue surge begins to bite as Centre rushes teams to states and UTs-


Centre rushes teams to 9 states, Union Territories-

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH/LUCKNOW/JAIPUR/BHOPAL/SRINAGAR:  The Centre has finally acknowledged the outbreak of dengue across nine states and UTs and has put out the number of affected people at 1,16,991 across the country.

The affected states and UTs are Haryana, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir.

More than 120 people have died across north India — the worst affected being Punjab where 61 people have succumbed to the mosquito-borne viral disease. Rajasthan (26 deaths) and Uttar Pradesh (eight deaths) follow Punjab. Uttar Pradesh has a largest prevalence of the disease with the number touching 21,954, whereas in Punjab the figures are touching 17,000.

The Union Health Ministry has rushed teams to the nine states/UTs to support them in public health measures for control and management of the disease.

October witnessed a significantly higher number of cases in some states as compared to the number during the same period the previous year.

As many as 15 states/UTs are reporting maximum cases in the current year; these states contribute 86% of the country’s total dengue cases till October 31, the Union Health Ministry said.

Sources in the Punjab health department said that from Sept 30 to Oct 30, around 12,000 dengue cases were reported. The five worst affected districts are SAS Nagar followed by Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Pathankot.

Dr Gagandeep Grover, Punjab’s nodal officer for vector-borne diseases, said prolonged monsoon and an increase in testing have exposed the disease’s spread.

“The health department has collected 43,000 samples this year compared to just 18,000 last year,” he said.

There were Covid and dengue co-infection cases as well.

“A few such cases treated between January and July. After that no such case has been reported,” said Dr Rajeev Bhaskar, nodal officer of Covid-19 in Punjab.

In Rajasthan, following a spike in dengue patients, there is no space in all major hospitals, including Jaipur’s SMS Hospital.

Dengue patients are being accommodated on the hospital ground. The demand for blood and platelets is rising.

Rajasthan Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma said medical workers have been alerted about the sharp surge in dengue cases.

“Medical workers’ leave has been cancelled and house-to-house surveys are on,” he added.

Such campaigns, however, have remained on paper. No fogging has taken place at many places in worst-hit Jaipur, Jhalawar, Alwar and Dholpur districts.

A report from Lucknow said Uttar Pradesh has recorded 21,954 dengue cases up to November 2.

This is the highest number of the  patients since 2015.Health experts blame prolonged monsoon coupled with a combination of lowered herd immunity due to the Covid pandemic, virus transmission outside the home and an increase in the age of infection.

The worst-hit areas in the state are central and western UP, and the Bundelkhand region. Hundreds of cases have been reported from Firozabad, along with Mathura, Kasganj, Agra, Farukhabad, Kanpur, Unnao, Lucknow and Sitapur.

Additional Chief Secretary, health, Amit Mohan Prasad has sought people’s cooperation against mosquito breeding in their vicinity. “People should not panic and seek immediate medical intervention in case of fever, joint pain and fatigue,” he said.

Assam, too, has recorded a sharp rise in dengue cases this year. The state has till Nov 2 recorded 60 cases, compared to 32 last year, with no death.

Assam’s National Health Mission (NHM) has attributed the high dengue cases to an extended summer, which was relatively hotter.

October was the hottest in Assam in 50 years, and recorded nearly half of the cases. Rain too continues for a longer period.

“There is no treatment as such for all mosquito-borne diseases. Precautions and awareness among people are a must,” said Dr Harpal Singh Suri of the NHM.

A senior health official in Madhya Pradesh said there are two factors for the spike in dengue cases: prolonged rain leading to accumulation of rainwater indoors and, second, the fully vaccinated for Covid became careless about the dengue outbreak, especially after the Covid daily numbers started declining from July.

The Union Health Ministry said those who get infected with dengue a second time are at a significantly greater risk of developing severe disease.

Symptoms include high fever, headache, rash and muscle and joint pain. In severe cases there is serious bleeding and shock, which can be life threatening.

Treatment includes fluids and pain relievers. Severe cases require hospital care.

Harpreet Bajwa, Namita Bajpai, Rajesh Asnani, Anuraag Singh and Fayaz Wani(With Sudhir Suryawanshi, Pranab Mondal, Mukesh Ranjan, Ejaz Kaiser)

Source link