A medical student on Friday was the latest victim of dengue which has been spreading its tentacles in the coastal pockets of the State.
Debi Prasad Biswaranjan, a 20-year-old MBBS student, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals here for haemorrhagic fever breathed his last on Friday taking the total count of dengue deaths to six this year. He was admitted to the private hospital on October 14.
Biswaranjan, a native of Jagatsinghpur district, was a student of MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.
The death of a medical student seems to have shaken the Health Department which is sending a team, led by a deputy director-ranked officer, to SCB Medical College to take stock of the situation in consultation with the top medical brains. So far, 1,480 persons have tested positive for dengue this year. This month alone, 68 positive cases have been detected.
Dengue’s outbreak in Balasore and Ganjam has been a concern for the administration as these two districts have emerged as the twin epicentre accounting for most of the cases. The worrying factor is that dengue transmission seems to have become indigenous in these two districts.
Investigation by the Health Department as well as Regional Medical Research Laboratory has revealed that all the four strains of dengue virus have been found in the State. In some cases, dengue has been caused by co-infection.
Earlier, it was suspected that virus may have been carried by migrants from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata where the outbreak has been severe. However, the difference in strains in these two states has led to a belief that the outbreak may have become indigenous.
Last year, dengue outbreak was severe in Angul and Jharsuguda. Given the industrial profile of the two districts, the Health Department had concentrated on prevention measures in these districts but was surprised at the outbreak in Balasore and Ganjam.