Thu, 23 Jan, 2020

Dengue keeping health officials on their toes

11th September 2019, 03:52 Hrs

the goan I network


Vector-borne disease dengue is turning out to be the new malaria, not only in terms of number of confirmed cases, but by way of how the Health Department has been struggling this monsoon season to control the outbreaks of the disease in pockets across the State.   

In August this year, 62 cases of dengue cases have been confirmed in the State, as opposed 31 cases of malaria, Dr Anant Palekar, deputy director of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme told The Goan on Tuesday.   

And there has been a sharp drop in the cases of malaria as well as a rise in the cases of dengue when compared with figures from August 2018. While 74 cases of malaria and 41 of dengue had been confirmed in August last year. Palekar said that the cases of malaria reported are steadily on the decline, with 175 cases being detected from January till August this year, as opposed to 290 cases in the same time period last year. 

A total of 141 cases of dengue have been confirmed this year compared to 236 cases last year in the same period.     

There has been a marked decline in the number of malaria cases with 18 of the 33 health centres across the state reporting zero malaria cases from January to August this year. Also, 12 of these centres have not reported any case of dengue.   

“It is dengue that is keeping health department officials on their toes since the disease has no fixed method of treatment. The symptoms differ from patient to patient and he or she has to be treated accordingly,” Dr Palekar said. 

Treatment of dengue is tougher than other vector-borne diseases as it is a viral fever. 

Further, health department officials face a tough time convincing people to get rid of stored stagnant water in their houses. 

The department, however, has no plan of its own to control the disease from rearing its ugly head, and relies on people of the State to use their better judgement not to allow mosquitoes from breeding.   

Dr Palekar said that the department aims to eradicate malaria from the State completely by December 2020.