The state has registered as many as 1,120 dengue cases in the past six months and witnessing 30 per cent rise in just one month. Further, chikungunya cases, too, have increased more than 30 per cent in the state.
With the spurt in cases, experts in infectious diseases and the hospital infection control committee have raised concerns. Dr Rajesh Gadia, head of the dengue control team at KEM Hospital, Pune, and an expert in infectious diseases, informed, “In the past two weeks, we have observed that admission to the out-patient department (OPD) has gone up by 30 per cent in both the diseases. People are getting admitted in worst conditions. And, I fear that this is just the beginning; we are in fact expecting a rise in the number of cases towards the end of this month.“
Dr Ramesh Ranka, director of Ranka Hospital, too, shared similar opinion on the worrying situation. Ranka said, “I have witnessed a sudden increase in the number of patients here. More than 10 cases of chikungunya in just five days and three admissions of dengue in a week have already been reported to us. Our OPD is filled with patients showing symptoms of dengue and chikungunya.We have quickly alerted the government as well so that no breeding spot is missed out during fumigation drives.“
Dr Avinash Bhondwe, senior vice-president of the Indian Medical Association, added, “This is only the beginning of the rainy season and the number of patients in OPDs has only been increasing. We all are prepared to see more of this but if the concerned departments of the government’s vector-borne body think on its feet and find safety measures, the situation can be brought under control.“
One of the officials from the state health de partment also confirmed the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya and said, “Since January, this year, we have registered more than 1,120 cases of dengue in the state. Plus, 300 chikungunya cases are registered only in Pune district out of which majority of patients hail from Uttam Nagar. There has been an overall 30 per cent spurt in the cases of both the diseases across the state.“
Meanwhile, when contacted, state health department’s vector-borne diseases’ head and joint director Dr Kanchan Jagtap said the situation is not that severe. “There is an outbreak of both the infections but it is not that severe. Severity has been reported from only areas like Shirur, Charholi, Alandi and Uttam Nagar. And, within the city, it is from peth areas and Kondhwa. Mainly the cases are being reported from residents who live near construction sites or have filthy surroundings. We have already asked our Pune team to spot breeding areas and continue fogging so that the number of patients reduces,“ Jagtap shared.
MYSTERY VIRUS CONFUSES DOCS
A few doctors have claimed that there is a rise in cases of a mystery virus which shows symptoms of dengue and chikungunya but tests negative for both the diseases.
Dr Gadia said, “We have as many as 10 such cases reported here. Usually chikungunya symp toms stay with the patient for a good three to six months, like joint pain, etc. But, in such cases, the patient comes with joint pains which last only for ten days. This is weird and we have never come across such a presentation before. It needs to be studied and the government authorities, too, have been notified about the same.“
Source : Mirror