Dengue on upswing in state - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dengue on upswing in state

Dengue on upswing in state

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, May 20

In the recent years, Punjab has become one of the worst dengue-affected states. From 472 cases in 2014 to 15,009 in 2018, the state has been going through an alarming rise in the vector-borne disease — up by around 3,000 per cent.

In fact, last year the state had the highest number of dengue cases across the country. Various awareness drives and dengue-control activities claimed by the Health Department seem to have fallen flat because there is no respite in the ascent of dengue cases.

Patiala epidemiologist Dr Sumeet said dengue mosquito aedes aegypti was a ‘synanthropic’ species, much like houseflies and cockroaches, which multiply in makeshift habitats such as coolers, pots, etc. Another factor which contributed hugely was construction sites due to unplanned urbanisation in the recent years.

Health experts claim that it will take many years to bring down dengue cases since there had been consecutive outbreaks. In fact, it takes four to five years for dengue larvae to get terminated, say the experts. Moreover, Punjab was among the few states in the country where all four dengue strains — DENV-1 to DENV-4 — were present that affected community massively.

Experts believe since there is no cure and vaccine for dengue, therefore, prevention is the most effective method and community participation can play an important role in preventing and controlling the disease. Experts said it was impossible to check each of the households, therefore, people’s participation was a must.

Last year, Health Minister Brahm Mohindra had lashed out at the Municipal Department for not discharging their duties well in checking the outbreak of the disease. Experts said dengue control activities were the responsibility of the municipal bodies. The role of the Health Department comes after a patient tests positive for the disease, said experts.

“We have already intensified our efforts to check its spread and have sought cooperation from 11 stakeholder departments in this regard. Moreover, we are fully prepared and have already started awareness drives,” Mohindra added.

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