BHUBANESWAR: Industrialisation and rapid urbanisation, two top priority areas of the Government, are now blamed for shaming the State which is all set to register an all time high incidences of dengue, a debilitating mosquito-borne disease, this year.
If statistics are to be believed, 95 per cent dengue positive cases have been reported from the industrial and urban areas of the State which has so far recorded 6,594 positive cases from 29 districts and 11 deaths this season.
The vector-borne disease has shown its ugly head in all districts except Koraput. While Barbil mining belt in Keonjhar and Jagatpur industrial complex in Cuttack have registered 80 per cent of the total positive cases, 15 per cent people have tested positive from other urban areas besides the rest five per cent cases are from rural pockets of the State.
Cuttack district alone has recorded 2,889 positive cases and five deaths followed by Keonjhar 1,499 cases and one death. Though Jagatsinghpur reported less positive cases (245) compared to other districts, it, however, registered two deaths in last two months. Jajpur has registered 291 cases, Khurda 287 cases, Ganjam 241 cases and Balasore 205 cases.
Joint Director of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) Dr M M Pradhan said urbanisation is creating new habitats for the Aedes mosquitoes to breed. Aedes aegypti is the mosquito responsible for the spread of dengue.
"More concrete roads and buildings give an effect of heat-island in urban areas. It not only worsens the long-term effect of rising temperatures and climate change but also helps the viral diseases to grow," he said.
What has pressed the panic button is that the growth rate of the disease is more this year in comparison to previous years. Highest in the State, 7,132 people were tested positive in 2013 and 6,433 cases were reported in 2014 with six casualties in each year.
As many as 5,710 patients have been added to the dengue tally in the last two months with on and average 86 persons testing positive every day. While 57 fresh cases have been reported on Saturday, incidences of dengue in the Capital City have spread panic among residents. More than 200 persons have been found positive in the City during the period.
The factors believed to be behind the rise of dengue in Odisha have pointed fingers at industrialisation and the resulting increase in urban density. Higher temperature is also cited as one of the reasons for higher dengue transmission rates. The other factor responsible for spread of the disease is arrival of affected people from dengue-endemic states in the country.
The chances of a person getting infected with the virus increase in the areas which get more crowded. Even as vector-control measures such as fogging and regular inspections of mosquito-breeding sites have helped to reduce the number of mosquitoes, yet the number of dengue cases is on the rise putting the Health Department officials on tenterhooks.