BHUBANESWAR: With a Class-VII student reportedly succumbing to the deadly dengue in SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) at Cuttack, death toll due to the vector borne disease touched nine on Sunday. While the number of affected patients crossed 4,000 mark, the State has recorded the second highest dengue deaths in the country this season. Neighbouring West Bengal has reported 13 deaths this year.
Sources said Sangram Behera (12) of Koliatha village under Mahanga police limits died of the disease while undergoing treatment in the hospital. He was first admitted in Barchana community health centre (CHC) in Jajpur and later shifted to SCBMCH in a serious condition two days back after he tested dengue positive. SCBMCH authorities, however, could not confirm the death. Nodal officer Dr CBK Mohanty said he had no information as the patient was not admitted in the dengue ward. "But another patient who also had tested dengue positive on August 2 died on Sunday due to heart-related ailment," he said. Odisha is, in fact, in the grip of its worst dengue fever outbreak in recent years.
The State has so far reported 4,218 confirmed cases, Cuttack district being the worst hit with 1,812 cases, followed by Keonjhar with 1,371 patients. Others districts which have recorded more than 100 cases are Ganjam (184), Jajpur (135) and Jagatsinghpur (134). The upward spiral of dengue cases despite prolonged efforts to contain the disease has left the health officials baffled. They alleged that the situation assumed alarming proportions due to lack of preparedness of the Urban Development Department. Director (Public Health) Dr Kailash Chandra Dash said dengue can only be checked in early diagnosis and by proper treatment.
"Since testing facilities are available in 36 places including all district headquarters hospitals, there is no problem of early diagnosis. The hospitals also have been providing timely treatment," he claimed. Dash, however, expressed displeasure over cleanliness drives in urban and industrial areas. Had such drives been conducted before the onset of monsoon, such an alarming situation could have been avoided, he said adding, fogging and source reduction activities are being taken up on a war footing in these areas