Authorities indentify endemic zones, begin preventive steps
Doctors are well prepared and well trained to handle dengue threat in the district and there was no need for any panic, said Collector K Nanthakumar here on Thursday.
Talking to reporters here, he said after the outbreak of the disease two months ago, the authorities had indentified the endemic zones and launched a modified anti-larvicidal activity and fogging operation for prevention and early detection of the dreaded disease.
He said Rameswaram has been identified as the worst-affected area as the shady coconut grooves provided an ideal atmosphere for ades mosquitoes to breed. A door to door anti-larvicidal operation has been launched in the pilgrim centre.
Deputy Director of Health Services S. Balasubramanian told The Hindu that Keezhakarai, Ramanathapuram Municipality, Rameswaram, Paramakudi, Mudukalathur, Kadaladi and Kamudhi blocks have been identified as endemic places for dengue.
As part of the measures adopted for preventing dengue, fever surveillance, entomological survey, larvicidal activity and fogging operations have been launched. He said the health officials have also identified “already endemic affected border areas,” like Thondi, R. S. Mangalam, Parthipanur and Nainarkoil and sealed the borders.
To control the spread of the disease, Health Inspectors have been asked to gather information from Government, private hospitals and Primary Health Centres with regard to fever cases, he said. If a particular PHC reported five fever cases in a day or the District Headquarters Hospital and taluk hospitals 10 cases a day, health officials would rush and ascertain the cause and source of the fever.
A Rapid Response Team (RRT), comprising District Entomologist, Health Inspectors, Lab Technicians and Mazdoors has been formed for this purpose, Dr. Balasubramanian said adding this team would rush to the affected areas and verify the cause.
Claiming that the situation was well under control in the district, he said in the last two months, 25 people were tested positive for dengue but there was no death. “All of them have been treated and discharged from hospitals,” he said.
In the Paramakudi Health Unit District, comprising six blocks, 462 fever cases were reported in September and October, of which 53 were tested positive for NS1 antigen and 21 were tested positive for dengue. All the patients have been treated and discharged.
Similarly, in Ramnad Health Unit District with five blocks, 571 fever cases were reported, of which 26 tested positive for NS1 antigen and only four tested positive for dengue. He said death of two engineering students in Keezhakarai were not due to dengue. “We are always on alert,” he said adding when news spread that ten children were admitted to the Keezhakarai government hospital for dengue, he rushed on Thursday morning and found five were admitted and none of them tested positive for dengue. While one had chickungunya, four other children had viral fever, he said.
Dr. Balasubramanian said 75 per cent cases of dengue could be eliminated by non-use of plastic materials, especially carry bags and cups. A single drop of water is enough for Ades to breed. As they were day biters and preferred to stay inside the house, children and aged people became easy targets. “Dengue is not a killer disease and people need not panic,” he said.