The deaths due to malaria of two siblings, both minors, was “a freak incident”, said a two-doctor team from Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, Bangalore, in the city on Thursday.
The children were anaemic and could not resist the malarial attack. The senior doctor said the team was concerned about anaemia among people in the district – the deceased were unable to resist malaria due to their low haemoglobin level. “That is the main cause (of their deaths),” he said.
He said the period from December to March-April is the lean season for malaria but there must be a watch for reactivation and transmission of malaria next June when monsoons start in the region. This is important especially as there can be no immunity from malaria.
Having first ascertained that the cases were “true malaria”, it was noted that the patients showed no “clinical features” of malaria. Also, four to five days’ time was lost in seeking treatment, he said.
They visited Kokkada, and said the community there need not fear as there is “no reason to worry about transmission”. The doctors visited five hospitals, met city corporation officials and health workers and said “malaria surveillance work is going on well” compared to other districts in the State. For malaria, the areas important are Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Gulbarga.
The Bangalore team has recommended an “urban malaria scheme” for Mangalore city to the Central government. If this materialises, the district will get fortifications such as malaria control drugs, larvaecides, insecticides and fogging material. The Central assistance is expected by July.
But health officials said there was no dearth of material; hence the scheme may not be feasible for Dakshina Kannada. Arun Kumar S.B., District Vector Borne Diseases Control Officer (DVBDCO), Dakshina Kannada, said malaria control is affected due to lack of trained staff.