Dengue spike in Delhi: Health minister holds review meet, assures all help
New Delhi, Nov 01: Amid alarming rise in dengue cases rising in Delhi, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a meeting with the Delhi government on Monday to review the dengue situation in the national capital.
"On-ground initiatives like hotspot identification, fogging and timely treatment to be carried out. Centre is also sending a team of experts to States with rising Dengue cases," said Mandaviya.
The health minister pointed out that many poor people are affected by dengue who are weakened due to low platelet count. "Primary health care centres may prescribe anti-pyretic drugs to suppress the symptoms without addressing the root cause which may lead to eventual demise of the patient. Since testing is the most important step to identifying dengue, these deaths will not be reported as such and the incidence will continue to be under-reported." He thereafter directed officials to ramp up testing so that all cases are reported and treated properly.
The Minister also stressed on the need for effective co-ordination between Center and States. He observed that some hospitals are over-burdened with dengue cases while beds continue to be empty in other hospitals. Effective communication between all stakeholders was thus suggested as the way forward.
He requested the Delhi officials to look into the possibility of repurposing COVID beds to treat Dengue. It was decided that health officials of the Union Health Ministry will support their counterparts in the Government of NCT of Delhi to chalk out a detailed action plan to combat Dengue.
Dr. Mandaviya also advised to on-board all the MCDs, NDMC, Cantonment Board and other stakeholders in the effort to intensify vector control. It was noted that although the Health Administration was very effective in their communication on vector control, the efficacy of these messages on the action taken by common people remains unknown. Use of mosquito nets, full sleeved clothing, indoor fogging are to be encouraged while the MCDs are to spray in the houses of the Dengue patients and 60 houses around it.
Other than removing stagnant water in houses, restaurants, industries, overhead tanks, the Health Minister stressed on the identification of slums without regular supply of water where water is stored for consumption. Although extensive cleaning is required in some surfaces where water gets replaced frequently like coolers and refrigerator trays, the use of chemicals like Temephos granules is known to be effective in larvae control.
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya was apprised that campaign of the Delhi Government to sensitize school children on larvae control and training them to ensure lack of water storage in flower pots, feeding bowls for birds, coolers etc., will be taken up as the schools are being re-opened. Biological larvicide fishes like Gambusia have been deployed in 163 sites.
The government of Delhi has declared Dengue a notified disease which will enhance reporting and monitoring of the disease. Delhi is monitoring all fever cases, suspected dengue cases and confirmed cases. All hospitals have been converted to sites with zero tolerance of Mosquitoes; since vectors acquire the pathogen from infected persons and are able to transmit it in their offspring too. Mosquito net will be provided to Dengue patients.
Although only 10% cases are complicated and mortality seldom crosses 1%, all Delhi Govt health officials assured the Union Health Minister that the outbreak shall be contained with the help of all stakeholders. The meeting also discussed the new vaccines developed to target Dengue.
The Union Health Minister directed the Union Health Secretary to identify and send team of experts to States with High Active Caseload of Dengue. The Best Practices of these States are also to be recorded in the subsequent review meets.
Delhi has reported over 1,000 cases of dengue this year, with more than 280 cases logged in the last week, according to a civic report released on Monday last week.
Of the total number of dengue cases this season, 665 were recorded in the first 23 days of this month alone. The city recorded its first death due to the vector-borne disease this season on October 18.
What is Dengue?
Dengue fever is a flu-like viral disease, which spreads by a bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, whereas, Dengue hemorrhagic is a severe, often fatal complication of dengue fever.
The disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of this Aedes mosquito. The aedes mosquito often breeds in discarded tires, flower pots, old oil drums, water storage containers and drainages.
The most important thing to save yourself from getting dengue is to protect yourself from mosquito bites during the day.After 4 to 6 days of the mosquito bite, the symptoms appear. An infected person cannot spread the infection. This disease transmits when the mosquito bites an infected person and then bites a healthy person.