Rain brings dengue, chikungunya concerns  

Apart from cold and flu, there has been a spike in number of patients coming with dengue and chikungunya

Published: 13th June 2019 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2019 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

Dengue mosquito

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Even as the monsoon is yet to set in, the number of dengue cases has reached disturbing levels in the city. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike (BBMP) has recorded 720 cases of dengue and more than 150 cases of chikungunya in all its eight civic zones from January to June this year. With the onset of the rainy season, the number of cases may rise further.

“BBMP is doing its best to address the situation, We have been creating awareness among the public by doing multiple exercises, and are also surveying the water-logged areas and clearing them to prevent mosquito breeding. In addition to this, regular spraying and fogging is done in localities to kill adult mosquitoes. However, people also should start taking precautions,” Dr Manoranjan Hegde, Chief Health Officer, BBMP, said.

Doctors at private hospitals also say apart from cold and flu, there has been a spike in number of patients coming with dengue and chikungunya. The cases are also more complicated, with more morbidity as compared to last year. Dr Mahesh Kumar, consultant, internal medicine, Narayana Health City, said, “Dengue and chikungunya are rising, especially after the recent rains. We are seeing around 25 to 30 patients every week. What is unique this year is the intensity. Unlike previous years, we are seeing a steeper drop in platelet counts and more patients with liver inflammation.”

Bleeding complications are also being observed in patients, Dr Shylaja Shyamsunder, consultant, internal medicine, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, said. “In fact, we see 4-5 patients with dengue-like symptoms daily. Fortunately, so far they have recovered and there has been no instance of mortality. This is due to the breeding of mosquitoes, which happens in stagnant water in places such as potholes, coconut shells and plastic covers thrown in garbage, and delayed garbage clearance in some areas,” she added.

Dr Jyothsna Krishnappa, senior consultant, internal medicine, Apollo Hospitals Bannerghatta Road, said, “We see at least four patients coming in with dengue every day, and at least seven patients with chikungunya infection have been admitted to our hospital in the past one week. These species bite mostly during the day and they breed in water collected in old drums, tyres, cans, etc. Dengue infection does not spread directly from person to person, and mosquitoes are the vectors that transmit the virus.”

To prevent the spread of these diseases, personal and environmental hygiene should be maintained, Dr K S Harshith, consultant, internal medicine, Aster RV Hospital, said, adding that they have come across 7-8 cases in the last one week. “Garbage should be cleared on a daily basis and water should not be allowed to stagnate in and around homes.

As dengue mosquito predominantly bites during the day, keeping your working environment clean is of paramount importance. Wearing full-sleeved clothes, using mosquito nets while sleeping, and applying mosquito repelling ointments are some of the ways to avoid mosquito bite,” he explained. 

Dos and Don’ts
Ensure that children wear long-sleeved shirts, full pants and socks.
Close all doors and windows before 5pm to prevent mosquitoes from entering indoor. 
Avoid heavily scented soaps and perfumes as they attract mosquitoes.
Remove any excess water from potted plants and change the water in flower vases every day.
Use mosquito nets or repellents at home. 
In case of fever and other symptoms, maintain good hydration. Oral Paracetamol is safe for fever and body ache.  Avoid other painkillers. Consult a doctor for further evaluation if fever persists beyond a couple of days. 

Initial symptoms are a sudden rise in temperature, muscle and joint pain, headache with pain behind eyes, rashes and nausea, vomiting and loose stools. Complications include dehydration, breathlessness, bleeding manifestations and reduced urine output. In severe cases, hospitalisation for intravenous fluids may be needed. Complications like Dengue Shock Syndrome and Dengue Haemorrrhagic Fever may be life-threatening and require monitoring.

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