Bitten by dengue bug, can Pune fight back?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 - 5:54pm IST
Pune, especially Pimpri-Chinchwad, has earned the dubious distinction of being the second worst dengue-affected district in the state after Mumbai

Pune, especially Pimpri-Chinchwad, has earned the dubious distinction of being the second worst dengue-affected district in the state after Mumbai. As compared to last year’s 518 dengue cases reported till September, this year, a total of 762 cases have been reported from across the state so far. Officials have attributed the 47% rise in dengue cases to the water scarcity situation and intermittent rains which led to accumulation of fresh water in pools. Speak Up gets you the details..

Mosquito breeding has gone out of control
The increase in dengue in the city shows that the mosquito control methods are not effective. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquitoes within the genus Aedes and principally Aedes Aegypti. It only breeds in fresh water which is stagnant and not flowing.
Therefore, people must avoid water collection in the house and the surrounding areas. As the monsoon has just ended, there is still stagnant water all around. For example, one should not only regularly empty water from refrigerator and air-conditioners in the house, but also look around for any water stagnation points like old tyres, plant pots, plastic bottles etc.
It is true that dengue cases have increased this time, which shows that mosquito breeding has gone out of control. More than the government, people should make efforts to ensure water stagnation doesn’t take place. Besides regular mosquito fogging, the government can only do as much.
Rather than questioning the civic body, people should ask themselves what they are doing. The dengue cases are found to be prevalent in certain pocket areas of the city, not everywhere. I am getting many patients from Sangli area as well and there might be reasons as to why is it so.
Dr Shyam Kagal, MD-Med

Mortality rate in dengue cases is 1-2%
I am doing a research on prevalence of dengue since last 15 years in Pune and in the surrounding districts around Pune. As per my observation, over the 15 years, the cases of dengue in Pune have increased. Mostly, the rise in dengue cases happen during June-July months, when monsoon is in full swing. Due to late rains this year, we are seeing a spurt in dengue cases in October as well. When the winter will set in and the temperature falls below 20 degrees, the mosquitoes will naturally die out. The dengue cases are prevalent in all the areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The mortality rate in dengue cases is hardly 1% to 2% , many dengue cases go unnoticed and are not notified. The increase in dengue cases is due to urbanisation and is a man-made situation.

Dengue is caused due to the bite from the Aedes species of mosquitoes and are seen in four different strains, wherein the strain 2 dengue is the worst of all. Right now, we have over 25 dengue patients admitted to our hospital. Every day, over 5 new dengue patients are being admitted. It is very difficult to say which dengue strain is more prevalent because a patient can also have multiple strains, however the symptomatic medical treatment is the same. Right now, dengue seems to be prevalent more among adults than children.

With dengue the real problem starts when the fever subsides and other complications start. Low platelet count is seen immediately after the fever subsides, which is not as important. It is a cause for concern if symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness or breathlessness follows. Though dengue spurt is expected this time of the year, the number of cases being reported seem to be more than normal.
Dr Rajesh Gadia, Physician, KEM Hospital

People should maintain cleanliness in their surroundings
There are various factors that contribute to the increase in dengue cases in a particular year. Compared to last year, there seems to be more spurt of dengue cases this year. As dengue is a vector-borne disease, it is associated with heavy rains and could get out of control. It is quite possible that the mosquito combating chemicals that we are using are not effective enough.

It is not only important that the government carries out mosquito fogging at this time of the year, but people should also take charge and maintain cleanliness around their immediate surroundings. One cannot always blame the government for everything, people must also take initiative to control the spread of dengue by not allowing any stagnation of fresh water anywhere around them. The prevalence of dengue seems to be more higher in slum areas. Also, the chances of infants and elderly being affected by the disease are high.
Dr Arati Shahade, Physician

Population growth contributing in rise of dengue cases
A total of 17 dengue cases were reported since September in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which is the highest number in this year.

The rise in the number of dengue cases in PCMC area came to light after the implementation of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), under which it is mandatory for private healthcare to submit reports about the mosquito diseases such as malaria, dengue etc. to the civic officials.

Secondly, PCMC has always stressed on implementing strong detection methods especially blood testing so that the civic body is able to identify the dengue cases. The other important reason for the increase in dengue cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad is due to the population growth. According to the 2011 population census, 75% of population growth was reported in the twin township. In addition to it, the floating population is very high in the area.
Dr Anand Jagdale, chief medical officer, PCMC

Civic body should conduct fumigation programmes
There is a need to spread awareness about mosquito diseases among citizens. It is the responsibility of civic authority to take preventive measures to curb dengue or malaria. There is a need to carry out regular fumigation in every part of the city. The ward officer should conduct the fumigation programmes. Secondly, as Pimpri-Chinchwad is developing very fast, there is a need to take proper preventive measures in public places such as gardens, playgrounds etc., where chances of water getting logging are high.
Nafees Shaikh, resident of Nigdi-Pradhikaran


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