Ludhiana, Oct.11 : Over 650 confirmed cases of dengue fever and two dengue-related deaths have been reported in Ludhiana.
A majority of the patients have been admitted to the city's Dayanand Medical College for treatment against the illness, which is caused by exposure to the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Dengue is one of the oldest anthropod-borne diseases known in India. Its characteristics include severe muscle and joint pains and fever that can prove fatal in its severest form i.e. dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).
"There are more than 300 cases from outside Ludhiana," said Satpal Sharma, Ludhiana's Chief Medical Officer.
Patients and their relatives are facing tough time combatting the disease and they accuse the authorities of being ill equipped to deal with the problem.
Gurmeet Kaur, a mother of two, said: "Both my kids are suffering from dengue. Both kids have been referred from Jalandhar to the Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana as the treatment of dengue is not possible in Jalandhar."
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that factors like rapid transportation, industrialization, movement of infected human populations and mosquitoes and the changing ecology are responsible for the spread of illnesses like dengue.
A senior official of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, S.P. Ghumman, said: "Fogging (spraying of insecticide) is taking place properly. The water accumulated in coolers is creating problem. People are not maintaining proper sanitary conditions in their houses. The water that accumulates in flower pots and coolers are creating the problem. We have been saying this through media even. To tackle this problem we will start fining people.
Ludhiana saw a similar Dengue fever outbreak in 1996 when 720 cases and 19 deaths were reported.