HYDERABAD: Telangana might officially have 2,000-odd cases of dengue, but it is likely that nearly 90 per cent of them are going undetected due to patients having a low-grade fever, states Dr GVS Murthy, Director of Public Health Foundation of India. Often, only 10 per cent of cases come under the radar of the public health system. However, these can be a tricky affair to detect in the light of the pandemic, adds Dr Murthy.
“Most viral diseases present themselves as fevers and while most get resolved by themselves, about 10 per cent can develop into serious dengue and lead to dengue shock. With Covid-19 also being a predominant virus which is spreading, with fever as a main symptom, having a diagnostic test for any fever lasting beyond 48 hours is crucial,” he says. Patients with fever who have recovered from a bout of dengue need to be more cautious.
This is because unlike other viral fevers, when dengue reinfects a body, there is a high chance of a more severe strain, adds Dr Murthy. With this tricky public health nightmare hanging overhead, the PHFI has joined hands with GHMC and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to arrest the breeding of mosquitoes by launching ‘Project No Fever’. “A control room has been set up in PHFI to alert GHMC as and when cases in any area are on the rise. From this, we have observed breeding to be predominant in the West Zone and areas with high construction levels as water is stagnating in the waste accumulated and population density is also higher,” he added.
With this in mind, Project No Fever has formed teams with Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs). Residents and maintenance staff have been trained to check breeding spots. “All the aedes mosquito needs is a spoonful of water to breed. So it is crucial to remove any stagnated water source,” he said.