Official confirms one death, three others termed probable dengue deaths

While confirming one death due to dengue in the district, the district health officials have admitted that the three other fatalities too could have been due to the disease. The authorities call these three deaths as probable cases of dengue deaths. Thus the probable and confirmed deaths due to dengue in the district have gone up to four.

O. Srirangappa, District Health Officer (DHO), Dakshina Kannada, said, “We agree only with one (of the four cases) because they have conducted Elisa test, which is 100 per cent confirmatory”. He said that “probable” means that there is no confirmation of dengue done through Elisa.

He said Nirmala, a resident of Nalkur village, near Guthigar in Sullia, had fever in early March and took treatment at Guthigar. As there was a rise in temperature, she was taken to Mangalore and died on the way. “Not a single test was conducted on her,” he said.

The unexpected rain in March had led to water stagnation near her house and action has been taken in that area. In the second case, the patient, Jayarame Gowda died in Mangala Hospital due to head injury, the primary cause and dengue, which was the secondary cause. “It was not confirmed whether he had dengue. Before his death, he was shifted to his native place against medical advice,” he said.

The third case was that of Krishnappa Naika, who got Elisa done at Kasturba Medical College (KMC). “We consider it a dengue death,” he said.

Sources at KMC said that “there was only one case of dengue in the past one month”. The dengue-positive patient was referred from Puttur and was retested as positive at KMC, where he died. The same sources said that dengue is present everywhere but does not lead to complications and death in all cases.

Dr. Srirangappa said the fourth case was at K. S. Hegde Medical Academy (KSHEMA), where the patient was admitted with fever and was diagnosed with dengue. He was improving but he collapsed and died. “He suffered from probable dengue,” he said.

The latest number of positive cases of dengue from government hospitals is 35, while cases from private hospitals are 85, he said.

Tip of the iceberg?

While officials maintain there was only one confirmed death due to dengue, activists say many cases of people contracting the disease may have gone unreported.

One activist claimed there were more than 100 cases of dengue 10 days ago which may have gone unreported. He said lack of precise information about cases and their location had affected controlling dengue. Suresh Shetty, president, Mangalore Nagara Parisarasakthara Okkootta, said: “There have been more than 100 cases in March and April. That was much before the government asked hospitals and diagnostic labs to report cases of dengue.

K. N. Vijay Prakash, Chief Executive Officer, Dakshina Kannada, Zilla Panchayat, however, does not agree with figure quoted by Mr. Shetty.