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‘Focus should be on mosquito eradication’

Cases of infectious fevers, including dengue, are likely to increase once the monsoon takes its full course. Twenty-three people died in the past five weeks due to fever and the number of patients attending hospitals per day exceeded 2,000. Dengue alone accounted for 184.

Published: 15th June 2017 01:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2017 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

Cases of infectious fevers, including dengue, are likely to increase once the monsoon takes its full course. Twenty-three people died in the past five weeks due to fever and the number of patients attending hospitals per day exceeded 2,000. Dengue alone accounted for 184.

 
Dengue is a global problem affecting 390 million people per year in 110 countries. 
But symptoms appear only in 25 per cent cases. In the 1970s, only nine countries had the problem. Now, 110 countries are affected. One million people die of dengue per year globally. Hospital admission is necessary only when the platelet count is below 20,000 or there is bleeding (haemorrhagic dengue) or shock (dengue shock symptoms). There are five types of viruses.

Dr K P Poulose, Sree
Uthradom Thirunal
Hospital, Pattom,
Thiruvananthapuram

Infection with one type gives prolonged immunity to that type but not to others. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, except preventive vaccination initiated in 2016 costing Rs 12,000 for three doses. The disease is spread by a peculiar female mosquito Aedes aegypti which can bite the humans any time of the day/night.

These mosquitoes can also spread other diseases like Zika fever, Yellow fever and Chikungunya fever. They are highly invasive, surviving in small water collections in discarded cups, tyres, utensils, dry leaves and even in a bottle cap.


Once an epidemic starts, preventive measures for control of mosquitoes begin. However, the mosquito’s breeding places are rampant in the state now full of filth. Waste disposal is the greatest problem and has to be tackled by local self-government bodies, to prevent dengue epidemics.Even the mosquitoes now have become resistant to ordinary insecticide repellents. The focus should be on mosquito eradication and not on disease management.



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