BMC issues advisory as dengue fever raises its head again

Even though the city and surrounding areas are experiencing an acute rainfall deficit, the BMC has reported an increase in dengue fever cases. According to civic data, 22 dengue cases were reported from June 1 to 19, compared to 34 cases in May. Meanwhile, two cases of H1N1 and one case of chikungunya have also been reported in nearly three weeks this month.

Dengue fever is one of the most common vector-borne arboviruses, transmitted between humans by the Aedes mosquito. Health officials have expressed concern over the increase in cases as the symptoms are similar to those of Covid-19, and amid an increase in the latter there could be misdiagnosis. The BMC therefore urged citizens to take all necessary precautions to prevent mosquito breeding.

Dr. Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Internal Medicine Consultant at Global Hospital Parel, said dengue fever cases were high even before the onset of the monsoon and it became an endemic infection, seen throughout the year. She said an increase in construction activity and rapid urbanization have also led to an increase in cases. “We see patients with complicated dengue, which needs to be diagnosed in time.”

She said there was a need to avoid unnecessary accumulation of water in pots or tires surrounding residential areas. “Water used for domestic purposes must also be covered. Keep your surroundings clean and use mosquito repellents, mosquito nets and light cotton clothing when you are outside the home. If there is a high fever, blood tests should be done to rule out any other infections,” she said.

BMC health officer Dr. Mangala Gomare said community outreach programs with information, education and communication (IEC) on the symptoms have been organized in municipal wards. Activities such as daily disease monitoring, early diagnosis and treatment, and implementation of immediate control measures have been undertaken.

Dr Gomare said: “We have asked all hospitals, dispensaries and health posts to increase the examination of blood smears for all suspected cases and to exclude Covid-19 with rapid antigen tests.”

Infectious disease experts from private hospitals said standing water and wet weather allow Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue fever, to proliferate, and therefore a peak in cases is usually seen in late August, September and October.

A top health official said a sudden change in temperature makes the body susceptible to certain diseases. The constant oscillation between hot, humid and humid weather allows microorganisms to reproduce and thrive. “People should see a doctor immediately because the symptoms are almost identical for dengue fever, malaria, leptospirosis, gastroenteritis and chikungunya,” he said.

BMC intervenes

Community awareness programs with information, education and communication (IEC) on symptoms organized in municipal districts.

Daily disease monitoring, early diagnosis and treatment, and implementation of immediate control measures.

All hospitals, dispensaries and health posts are instructed to increase blood smear examination for all suspected cases and rule out Covid-19 with rapid antigen tests.

Advisory

Avoid eating out

Carry your own water

Consuming boiled or filtered water

Wash hands before meals

Keep the environment clean

Don’t let water accumulate

Cover stored water

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