When it comes to dengue, Odisha represents India. For, all the four strains of the dengue virus are found in abundance in the dengue-affected districts of the State. If Regional Medical Research Centre’s (RMRC) investigation from Balasore has brought this to the fore, the results from southern and coastal Odisha pockets are no different.
And what’s more significant, the infection seems to be indigenous by now. The samples collected by the RMRC teams and put to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test has proved that all the four strains of dengue virus have become active in the State which could prove a difficult task for the Health Department in future.
Fanning out to the pockets, where dengue outbreak has been the maximum, the teams collected 95 samples from Ganjam. As many as 45 samples tested positive in the PCR mode, of which 41 carried DEN 2 virus. Three carried DEN 1 and one patient carried DEN 2.
“In Ganjam, DEN 2 was largely prevalent while Balasore has been found to be home to DEN 1,2,3 and 4,” RMRC Director Dr SK Kar said.
The RMRC also collected samples from MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur, to check the extent of spread of the infection. Of the 21 samples, three tested positive on PCR out of which two were co-infection of DEN 1 and 2. The third was a DEN 2 virus.
In the first phase of samples collected from Balasore’s Bhograi, 36 out of 41 had tested positive on PCR method. Ten of them were DEN virus, 19 were DEN 1 and 2, one was DEN 2 and 4, three each from DEN 3 and DEN 4. In the second phase, the RMRC found two positive for DEN 2.
The ICMR arm also collected samples from SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, to check the spread of the dengue and virus load in coastal districts and found eight dengue positive through RCR test. Two of them were DEN 2, four a co-infection of DEN 2 and 4, one each of DEN 3 and DEN 3 and 4.
Earlier, Odisha reported only DEN 2 and its prevalence meant that it has become indigenous to the State. Despite the measures taken by the Health Department, the vectors or the carriers could not be wiped out.
Meanwhile, the incidence appeared to be on the decline in the State, as per latest reports.