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An international group dedicated to battling dengue announced a prize of $10,000 (Rs 6.14 lakh) on Sunday for anyone in India who comes up with a new way to tackle the mosquito–borne disease.

‘Break Dengue’ said the new approach could be an "insecticide, a repellent, a natural source or anything else" that would help beat the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has infected 800 people in Mumbai with the dengue virus this year.

On Sunday, the virus killed an 18–year–old college student from Vakola. Dharmesh Patkar, who suffered multiple organ failure at KEM Hospital, is the 12th person to die of dengue.

"There’s an urgent need for an out–of–thebox approach to fight dengue," said Mumbaibased senior physician Dr Pratit Samdani, who is the Indian ambassador of the non–profit group’s global dengue campaign. "The new solution must be innovative and tangible."

$10,000 For Idea That Helps Combat Dengue

Doctors, medical centres and organisations can send suggestions to Break Dengue till Feb 8. After testing it in India, the new approach will be considered for a "worldwide implementation".

In recent decades, the incidence of dengue, a severe, flu–like disease, has grown significantly in India and world over. In 2007, there were only 5,000–odd dengue cases in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This year, 55,000 cases, many of them fatal, have been recorded. Mumbai, which recorded over 1,000 cases last year, has been among the worstaffected Indian cities. Dr Samdani, who is associated with the city’s top hospitals, said the situation had worsened in India because of rapid urbanisation, increased construction activity and poor sanitation. "Civic officials are doing their bit, but more needs to be done," he said.

ThoughBreakDengueisaglobaleffort,thisis the first time it has announced a prize for finding a solution. "We are looking for practical ideas that can be implemented," said Philip Weiss, a speaker at the ‘TEDxGateway’, an international non–profit that supports innovative ideas.

The organisation brings together eminent personalities for an annual conference. Its 2013 edition was held in Mumbai on Sunday.

According to the WHO, the global incidence of dengue has increased 30–fold in the past five decades. The disease, sometimes called bonebreak fever for the severe muscle and joint pains it causes, kills 20 per cent of the patients.


115 cases, 3 deaths


416 cases, 3 deaths


1,008 cases, 5 deaths


so far 800 cases, 12 deaths

Times of India
by - Jyoti Shelar

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