Dengue epidemic sets alarm bells ringing - The New Indian Express

Dengue epidemic sets alarm bells ringing

Published: 05th September 2013 12:02 PM

Last Updated: 05th September 2013 12:23 PM

Alarm bells are ringing for Odisha, which seems to be in the midst of a severe dengue epidemic this year with cases already surpassing numbers of all previous years and the peak outbreak season yet to set in.

 As many as 2,682 cases have been recorded as on September 4 with 26 districts under the grip of dengue this year against 2,255 in the whole of 2012. Odisha ranks fourth in the country after Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in terms of number of cases, but the intensity of the outbreak might well put the State well ahead of all others.

 Major cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar are worst affected followed by Angul and Jajpur. Cuttack has been the epicentre, already crossing 1,000 cases, while Khurda (mainly Bhubaneswar) has touched the 510 mark. Angul accounts for 355  cases and  Jajpur and Dhenkanal have reported 273 and 125 cases, respectively, till Tuesday. As many as 12 other districts have recorded double digits and rising.

The State Government, intriguingly, maintains ambiguity on the death toll due to dengue this year. While it has acknowledged only one death till date, sources in the SCBMCH have conceded around 11 deaths due to dengue in the hospital alone this year.

 However, the major concern is the path dengue has taken this year. The outbreak raised its ugly head as early as June against the usual August-September period. While experts have attributed the early outbreak to congenial conditions effected by early rains and conducive temperature levels, they have also flagged the warning signals for a possible severe flare-up in the next couple of months.

 The post-monsoon months from mid-September to October-end or early November are considered to be peak period as the climatic conditions are most suitable for breeding and spread of the virus carrying aedes aegypti vectors. “We may see an alarming spurt in the cases during these period”, said a senior health official.  According to health research experts, Odisha, which till 2010 did not have dengue virus, now possesses all the four serotypes I, II, III and IV. The early outbreak this year could also lead to multiple serotype infections, which are potentially severe and fatal.

A person infected with one serotype and cured in June is again vulnerable to infection in three months. And if he acquires a separate serotype the second, the multiple infection enhances the disease to serious consequences.

Thus, interventions should be intensified to not only destroy breeding sites, but also, most importantly, make the people aware of the necessity to keep their households and surroundings free of breeding sites through simple measures like avoiding fresh water collection, experts have stressed.

Dengue Data

* Odisha ranks fourth in the country after Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in terms of number of cases but the intensity of the outbreak might well put the State well ahead of all others

*  Angul accounts for 355 cases while Jajpur and Dhenkanal have reported 273 and 125 cases respectively as of Tuesday.

*  As many as 12 other districts have recorded double digits and rising

* As many as 2,682 cases have been recorded as on September 4 with 26 districts under the grip of dengue this year against 2,255 in the whole of 2012

*  Cuttack has been the epicentre, already crossing 1,000 cases while Khurda (mainly Bhubaneswar) has touched 510

 

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