Five deaths due to dengueinduced complications have been reported from Pune (2), Mumbai (2) and Kalyan-Dombivli (1) municipal limits.
When it comes to the disease burden, Pune city continues to top the list with 320 cases, followed by Mumbai (295 cases). Besides, municipal corporations of Nashik, Nanded, Solapur and Kolhapur are also hit hard by the mosquito-borne disease.
Activists working in the field said the state health department does not make enough efforts to educate people about early warning signs of the disease. “Community involvement is almost nothing when it comes to preventing mosquito breeding,“ they added.
Health activist Abhijit More said municipal corporations could have involved mandals in educating people about the disease and its prevention during the recently concluded Ganeshotsav.
“During the Ganesh festival, the health authorities could have used audio-visual and other mass media tools to reach a large number of the population. Besides, municipal corporations need to set up dedicated fever clinics, especially during the monsoon, to identify patients suffering from the disease at early stage. Early detection and treatment hold the key to ward off the menace that dengue has become,“ More said.
When contacted, state health department officials blamed the prevailing weather conditions for the rise in dengue cases.
“The intermittent drizzles followed by sunny days as seen during August and September created conducive breeding grounds for Aedes Aegypti -the mosquito that causes dengue,“ M S Diggikar, joint director (vectorborne diseases) of the state health department, said.
Besides favourable weather conditions, increased storage of water, rise in construction activity , piling up of garbage, lack of public awareness and inadequate mosquito management have aggravated the situation, he added. When it comes to Pune city, it continues to be the hotbed of mosquito-borne diseases and swine flu. “The wide fluctuation in temperature provides fitting ground for all types of viruses, including that of dengue and swine flu, to breed and propagate. We have initiated rapid survey .People should also be alert about preventing mosquito breeding on their premises,“ Vaishali Jadhav, assistant medical officer of health, PMC, said.
However, health activist Sanjay Dabhade said PMC health officials failed to implement the anti-larval measu res effectively due to a manpower crunch, which snowballed into an outbreak-like situation in August. “The situation may spiral out of control if not reined in soon.Not just private properties, PMC-run hospitals were also found facilitating breeding of mosquitoes. This shows how badly the city is affected this year,“ Dabhade said.
The seasonality of transmission of dengue with increased activity has been observed in the post-monsoon season September to November with peak in the second and third week of October.
Source : TOI