Government Rajaji Hospital is on alert; special ward opened

The Government Rajaji Hospital here is on alert to tackle dengue fever cases being reported from various parts of the district. On Wednesday, a special dengue ward was opened where 13 persons, including a couple of children, are undergoing treatment.

According to reliable sources, a baby belonging to Sellur area in the city, died of dengue.

“The baby died on Wednesday at 2 a.m. The test results given by the Institute of Virology of Madurai Medical College in the afternoon revealed that the baby had dengue. Our hospital is geared up to meet the dengue challenge,” a senior doctor in the GRH said.

When contacted, the Dean, N. Mohan, said that the special ward would take care of fever cases which were coming in large numbers from various places.

“Following the Health Secretary’s instructions, we have made arrangements for a separate ward for dengue affected persons. Even suspected cases will be admitted here for observation and treatment,” the Dean told The Hindu on Wednesday.

A five-member committee comprising Heads of Departments was formed to monitor the situation and take necessary action. One person who tested positive for dengue and took initial treatment at a leading private hospital in Madurai got admitted in the GRH, according to Dr. Mohan.

Meanwhile, sources said that the Health Minister might visit Madurai to review the situation with officials and inspect the measures taken for control and prevention of dengue outbreak.

Cases go up this year

The prevalence of dengue fever cases in Madurai district this year had gone up by four times when compared to last year.

Even as public health authorities have been taking measures for control of vector borne diseases, several pockets, particularly in Melur block, are right now under the grip of dengue. This year from January till October 8, according to Health Department sources, the district had 153 confirmed dengue cases while there were only 41 dengue cases last year.

Neglect in eradicating mosquito-breeding sources in urban and rural areas was said to be prime reason for dengue flare up.

Another important reason cited by officials for more dengue fever cases this year was the long summer which made people to store water due to water problem especially in villages.

“The water storage practice is very bad in many homes. If water is stored for many days, it becomes a breeding source for dengue-causing vector. Even though we are taking preventive measures, the cooperation of public and local bodies is essential,” an official said on Wednesday.

Health authorities have said that totally 4,378 blood samples of fever-affected persons were sent to the microbiology department of Madurai Medical College for tests this year till now of which 153 tested positive for dengue and they underwent treatment.

“The higher incidence of dengue fever is a cause of concern and we are taking steps to eradicate mosquito breeding sources. Sporadic cases of dengue are being reported from various places in the district,” officials said.

Special focus was given to Melur and villages including Kallampatti, Sooragundu and Keelavalavu from where more fever cases are coming. Also, suspected cases have been reported from Uthangudi and Ulaganeri.

In the year 2010, the Madurai district had 214 dengue cases as per Health Department records.

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