Dengue spreads fear in southern districts

Dengue continues to take its toll in the southern districts, with a majority of cases being reported in the State coming from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta.

While the number of cases dipped slightly in Thiruvananthapuram, a rising trend is seen in Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam. Fever cases have been going up in Palakkad and Kasaragod also.

On Thursday, nearly 16,000 fever cases were reported at the outpatient clinics in government hospitals and medical college hospitals in the State. As many as 774 of these patients have been admitted to the hospitals.

90 confirmed cases

An official report of the State Infectious Diseases Surveillance Project said 90 confirmed cases of dengue and seven of leptospirosis were reported on Thursday. Seven deaths — one suspected of fever, four of dengue and two of leptospirosis — were reported in the State. Three of the patients are from Kollam and two from Kottayam. The mortality rate of dengue has significantly gone up this year from those in the previous years.

Of the 90 confirmed dengue cases, 29 are from Thiruvananthapuram, 24 from Pathanamthitta, 12 from Kollam, nine from Idukki and seven from Ernakulam. All seven confirmed leptospirosis cases are from Thiruvananthapuram.

Senior health officials admit that with at least 50 per cent of the fever patients going to private hospitals, the actual number of dengue cases can be several times the number reported. Despite attempts to get private hospitals into the reporting system, most hospitals stay out of the network.

Full of patients

Almost all private hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram are swamped with patients, both in the outpatient clinics and in the wards.

In the Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, over 500 fever inpatients have been cramped into medicine wards, with authorities struggling to accommodate new patients daily.

Senior health officials said that disease prevention and control activities had been strengthened in Thiruvananthapuram and the number of cases could be dipping.

But Pathanamthitta, where dengue is found in clusters, remains a cause for concern.

Health officials said more attention would be given on training doctors in dengue management in the next few days.

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