06 March 2012
By Umesh Isalkar
Twenty–five people died of dengue fever in Maharashtra in 2011, compared to nine deaths in the previous year, the latest report by the state health department says. A total of 261 outbreaks of the mosquito–borne infection occurred in the state between January 1 and December 31, 2011, resulting in infection of 1,085 people.
“In 2010, the reported number of cases of dengueinfection in the state was 1,574. Though the number of infections went down in 2011, deaths due to dengue fever more than doubled,” the report reveals.
Thane reported the highest number of deaths caused by the dengue haemorrhagic fever (four), followed by Greater Mumbai and Jalgaon (three each), Yavatmal, Solapur, Chandrapur and Pune (two each). One death each was reported from Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pimpri–Chinchwad, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Osmanabad and Nanded.
Among the worst affected areas, Greater Mumbai reported the highest number of infections (421), followed by Thane (243). Among other urban centres, Pimpri–Chinchwad reported 96 cases, while Nagpur registered 83.
The Pune Municipal Corporation reported 41 cases of fever. Of them, 17 people tested positive for dengue, the report states. When contacted, V D Khanande, joint director of state health services, said: “We have set up diagnostic facilities at 15 government hospitals and medical colleges in the state. This is one of the reasons for finding more cases. Besides, in cases of deaths, we sought reports even from private doctors treating them.”
The mosquito breeds primarily in man–made containers like earthenware, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic containers, used automobile tyres and other items that collect rainwater.
The only method of controlling or preventing dengue virus transmission is to combat the vector mosquitoes. Proper disposal of solid waste and better water storage practices, like keeping water containers covered to prevent access for egg–laying female mosquitoes, should be followed, Khanande added.
“Intermittent rains and shortage of water (which leads to storage of water at households) are the prime reasons for enhanced dengue activity,” another health official said.Dreaded Disease
- Dengue is a mosquito–borne infection that causes severe flu–like illness, and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever
- Global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades; about two–fifths of the world's population is now at risk
- The disease is widespread in tropical and sub–tropical climates, mostly in urban and semi–urban areas
- Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children
- The only way of preventing dengue virus transmission is to combat the disease carrying mosquitoes Prevention Tips For Households
- Remove the water in plates kept under potted plants. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid using plates if possible
- Loosen soil in the pots to prevent accumulation of stagnant water on the surface of hardened soil
- No tray or receptacles should be kept under or on top of air–conditioners
- Change water in flower vases daily. Clean and scrub the inside of vases. Wash roots of flowers and plants thoroughly as mosquito eggs can stick to them easily
- Frequently check and remove stagnant water on your premises