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Alarming stats: Over 30,000 Puneites hit by communicable diseases this year

Saturday, 3 November 2012 - 6:55pm IST | Place: Pune

Cases have been increasing steadily over the last two months with H1N1 and dengue affecting the most.

Even as the city is reeling under the twin impact of rising number of H1N1 influenza and dengue cases, cases of other communicable diseases too have been steadily increasing over the last two months.

Data received from the Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department shows that till November 1, a total of 30,762 people have been affected by various communicable diseases.

A major chunk of cases comprises acute respiratory infections or influenza like illness contributing to the illness of 14,341people.

H1N1, the most lethal
H1N1 Influenza A or swine flu that had no cases in the first couple of months of this year has been steadily increasing. The deadly viral infection has claimed 27 lives this year and recorded 650 cases of which 473 cases have been registered since April. “An analysis by health department revealed that out of the 473 cases, 235 patients were in the age group of 21 years to 40 years followed by 140 cases in the 41-70 years age bracket,” said a civic official.

Over 500 dengue cases
On Friday, 15 more cases and one death of dengue were reported taking the total number of cases to 507 this year. Shockingly, 308 cases have been registered since October alone, besides, five confirmed dengue deaths.

Dr Vaishali Chavan, assistant medical officer of health and in-charge of vector control department, said that efforts were being made through public awareness measures, liaison with family doctors and fogging drives to bring down the numbers.

Malaria, typhoid act as ‘support system’
Besides dengue, malaria is another vector-borne disease that has seen spurt, though not as large scale as dengue. 34 of the 120 cases recorded this year have been in the last two months. Cases of enteric or typhoid fever are also rising rapidly since 27 out of 40 cases this year have been reported in last two months alone.

Early reporting necessary to avoid complications
Dr ST Pardeshi, acting medical officer of health, accepted that the disease burden has spurted in the last couple of months. He said people need to take preventive measures as well.  “Mosquito of dengue fever breeds in fresh water usually stagnating in homes and in left over containers or vessels. Even H1N1 spreads rapidly through personal contact and can be limited if basic hygiene is followed.,” he said.

He added, “Public awareness and precautionary measures taken by people play an important role. A survey by the health department in H1N1 deaths found that delay in seeking treatment was the reason for most complications. Hence people should be pro-active in seeking early help.”

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