Rising dengue count a worry amid Covid

If the number of dengue cases continues to rise, complications and fatalities due to the disease are prone to occur, they opine.

Published: 17th November 2021 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2021 06:42 AM   |  A+A-

3,027 dengue cases, 1 death recorded till Sept, 2021

Express News Service

KOCHI: The rising number of dengue cases and deaths due to the disease across the nation has raised fresh concerns, especially with the recent unexpected and torrential rain adding to the woes. Even as ‘dry days’ are being observed and anti-dengue activities organised by local bodies in various parts of the state, experts have urged the government to strengthen measures to tackle the growing mosquito menace. 

If the number of dengue cases continues to rise, complications and fatalities due to the disease are prone to occur, they opine. Adding to the worry, a new dengue variant — DENV-2 — has also been detected.  As per the data of communicable diseases available with the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), the highest number of dengue cases (21,993) and deaths (165) in Kerala occurred in 2017. In 2018, 4,090 cases and 32 deaths were reported, while 4,651 cases and 14 deaths were reported in 2019. “Awareness on mosquito eradication should be strengthened among the public. Stress should be on prevention and control measures to eradicate vector-borne diseases,” said infectious disease expert Dr Anup R Warrier.

As per the National Vector-borne Disease Control Programme, 4,399 dengue cases and five deaths were reported in Kerala in 2020. Till September this year, 3,027 dengue cases and one death were recorded.
“We are not sure whether there is under reporting of cases and deaths. The health department must take adequate steps to ensure that the local bodies and district health departments are carrying out requisite anti-dengue activities.

If the situation escalates leading to a dengue outbreak, it would be difficult to manage hospital admissions, especially in the present Covid scenario,” said Dr Jacob Mathew, general physician based in Alappuzha.  Owing to the long monsoon, diseases spread by mosquitoes have claimed many lives across states such as Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan in the July-October period. 

In the wake of the rising number of dengue cases across the nation including Kerala, a high-level team has been deployed by the Centre to assess the public health measures to control the vector-borne disease and manage the situation.

Meanwhile, the new variant has been detected in 11 states, including Kerala. It has caused severe complications in some, involving liver-related issues. Patients suffering from the disease are likely to develop internal bleeding, vomiting and fever.

“There has been no escalation in the number of cases in the state. Due to the rains, the public should take necessary precautions to prevent mosquito breeding. Ward-level coordination and awareness programmes are to be ensured. Local bodies are equipped to handle the situation. ASHA workers have been given the task of carrying out awareness campaigns at the ward level. The vector department is carrying out fogging in high-risk public areas as well,” said a health official.


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