CHENNAI : As if the spurt of Dengue induced deaths in Tirunelveli region isn’t alarming by itself, the sheer number of cases recorded in 2012 is a shocker.
According to the health department, in just five months this year, there have been 1,632 cases of dengue recorded officially in Tamil Nadu. With over 21 people having already succumbed this year, this is much more than the eight deaths last year.
“We did not expect such a large outbreak this year,” said Director of Public Health, RT Porkai Pandian. “Increased fogging and other measures have been ordered across TN. We have also rushed the medicine to all prone areas,” he added. Though the panic over the virus is far removed from the capital, city doctors have begun to prepare. “This year has been more or less manageable so far,” said a senior doctor at Stanley Medical College. Also, due to the high number of swine flu cases, most of us have taken a break from mosquito-borne diseases,” he said.
The incidence of dengue is usually high in the northern pockets of Chennai, said the doctor “In Tirunelveli, in most of the houses where kids died, we found that they had stored water in large quantities,” said Pandian. A cause of worry is the type of virus detected in Tirunelveli. “The health department said Dengue Serotype 3 has been confirmed. We usually deal with Serotypes 1 and 2 which are manageable,” said an administrator at Rajiv Gandhi GGH.
DENV - 3 is particularly fatal for kids if they have had DENV - 1 — it might have been misdiagnosed as ordinary fever, but will have reduced immunity, said the prof. As Pandian put it, “If anyone has persistent fever for over three days, especially a child, visit a GH.”