Seventeen-year-old Farheen from Jafrabad, Delhi, became the first victim of dengue shock syndrome in the national capital region on July, 21. Farheen succumbed to the disease at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Naryana hospital. She was shifted to the hospital from Delhi government’s Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital on July 20.
Though government claims that it has been taking adequate measures to tackle the mosquito menace in the country, the two major mosquito related diseases—dengue and malaria—come back every year with vengeance. In fact, the number of cases this year has doubled when compared to last year.
Last year, a staggering 15,867 cases of dengue were reported in Delhi—the highest in the last 20 years. The disease had claimed 60 lives.
As soon as the city sees a dip in the temperature with a few rains, Aedes Aegypti—the mosquito which carries dengue virus—breeds ferociously in the fresh water puddles across the city.
Union Minister J.P. Nadda took note of the situation early this month and issued notices to various state government departments concerned. He assured support to Delhi in its fight against dengue.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the city is “all prepared” to fight the disease. He has planned to open 350 dengue clinics across the city to tackle dengue menace. Last year, the Delhi government had only 55 such clinics. The idea of dengue clinics, Jain said, is to reach out to people and help them tackle dengue cases at home.
Jain also blamed the BJP-led Municipal Corporation for failing to control the spread of mosquitoes.
The government, however, claimed that it has provided enough Dengue Diagnostic kits (NS1 Ag and MAC ELISA) to all sentinel surveillance hospitals. The government has also directed hospitals to admit dengue patients on priority basis besides putting a cap on the cost of dengue tests. Platelet count should be done for Rs 50 and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Rs 600.
Nonetheless, doctors treating dengue patients feel that greater emphasis should be given to prevention of the disease by controlling the mosquito breeding in the city. The dengue mosquito breeds in the fresh water and require very little water. The mosquito can breed in the water coolers and flower vases at homes. Keeping homes and surroundings dry and using mosquito nets are effective means to bring down the dengue cases.
Government is now planning to involve school and college children to spread awareness about the various aspects of the deadly disease. Hope this helps!