Dengue cases double; state in second spot

Surveillance efforts intensified

Dengue cases double; state in second spot

All-out efforts by the state government to prevent dengue outbreak have gone in vain.

The cases of the virulent fever has doubled since last year, earning Karnataka the second spot for highest number of dengue cases nationwide. 

Around 13,500 dengue cases have been registered across the state from January till October this year, which is more than double the number of cases (6,083) recorded in 2016, according to the directory of National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP).

The state has also been witnessing a steady increase in the number of dengue cases reported since 2011. However, the number of deaths dropped to five this year, compared to eight last year.

“The state has been receiving more rainfall since August. This pattern of intermittent rain causes mosquitoes to breed. Also, there was scarcity of rain during June and July, when people stored water, which again promotes breeding,” said Dr Prakash Kumar, deputy director, NVBDCP.

He said the BBMP alone reported over 6,000 cases and private hospitals, too, regularly updated the number of cases. A web portal has been created for private hospital updates, Dr Kumar said.

Doctors said this year, the dengue virus had become more virulent and the dreaded disease had become endemic.

“Earlier, hospital admissions were made on the fourth or fifth day after the onset of dengue, but now it is so severe that we have to admit the patient on the first day itself,” said Dr Saad Hafeez Usmani, registrar, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia hospital. He added that there have been prolonged stays and need for repeated blood infusion.

Due to the steep increase in the number of cases this year, the government has intensified surveillance and employed 823 urban health volunteers for three months from August to October to monitor mosquito breeding.

Dr Prakash said ASHA workers were also paid Rs 200 as incentive if the dengue cases in the villages they inspect had reduced. “If larvae are found in those villages, they will not be paid the incentive,” he added. He also said that the current reports were “only the tip of the iceberg”. “The numbers may increase, for which a proper disease management programme is necessary,” the doctor added.

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