Mysuru: Maintaining that there is no dengue scare in city, District Vector Borne Diseases Control Officer Dr. S. Chidambara has said that 31 dengue cases have been reported from across the district from January 2017 till now.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Dr. Chidambara said, out of the 262 blood samples tested, only 31 were positive for dengue and five for chikungunya. Out of 31 suspected dengue cases, 19 were reported from the city and the rest 12 from rural areas.
Noting that there were three dengue deaths in 2013, two of them in D. Salundi and one in Hunsur, Dr. Chidambara said no dengue deaths have been reported from anywhere in the district since then.
Asserting that deaths of dengue patients cannot be attributed to the disease alone, as there are other factors such as kidney failure, comardibility condition etc., that cause death, he said that all private hospitals and labs have been asked to mandatorily send blood test reports of suspected dengue and chikungunya cases to the District Surveillance Unit at the DHO Office.
Explaining the measures taken for preventing the outbreak of vector borne diseases, Dr. Chidambara said school children were involved in awareness programmes aimed at sensitising people on all the measures that are to be taken for killing mosquitoes, which are found to be the main carriers of the virus.
Replying to a question on the action taken for dengue control, he said that three rapid response teams have been formed, with each team touring the district in 10-day cycles, covering nearly 200 households every day in rural areas as well as urban areas. The team, comprising para-medical staff and a technician, will educate the public on maintaining hygiene to ensure that there is no open stagnant water, which are breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Dengue Awareness Month
Pointing out that July will be observed as Dengue Awareness Month, during which awareness Jathas will be taken out, Dr. Chidambara said National Dengue Day (May 16) will be observed in city on May 19.
Reiterating that there was no dengue scare in city, he said there was no cause for worry as all necessary measures have been taken to ensure that there is no outbreak of vector-borne diseases in the forthcoming monsoon months.
Meanwhile, Star of Mysore visited a few labs and learnt that a lab in the heart of the city had received 43 blood samples during this month, out of which nine tested positive. Out of the 10 blood samples for suspected dengue, an average two will test positive. However, the number of positive cases had fallen this year when compared to previous years, when it was found that almost four of the ten samples tested positive.
Lab sources said that dengue is classified under three categories, based on antigens — NS1, IgG and IgM, out of which NSI is the most critical.
Admitting that the DHO had sent a directive a couple of years ago on sending all blood samples related to suspected dengue and other vector-borne disease cases to the DHO, the sources also said they were confused as there was no clarity in the method and mode of dispatch of the blood samples.
A staff of a diagnostic centre in the city blamed the Health Department for lack of correspondence on sending blood samples to the DHO.
Pointing out they were unaware of the exact procedure for sending the blood samples to the DHO, the staff maintained that there was lack of co-ordination between labs and the Health Department. However, the labs were ready to share information with the Health Department if there was proper channel, he said.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that the District Administration is not making much efforts to prevent the spread of vector borne diseases, especially when monsoon is round the corner.
A doctor on condition of anonymity said that dengue could be eradicated by a systematic and sustained campaign and the only thing needed was will power.
He further said that with monsoon round the corner, the District Administration needs to take pre-cautionary measures for eliminating mosquito menace and practical measures for ensuring hygienic conditions to keep mosquitoes away.
How dengue spreads
Dengue spreads from one person to another by mosquito species named Aedes Aegypti. High fever coupled with headache, pain behind eye balls, severe pain in muscles and joints are the symptoms of this deadly disease. If untreated at an early stage, the disease intensifies, causing bleeding from the mouth, nose and jaws and sometimes even from the skin.