81 people under treatment for dengue fever in various government hospitals

Pre-monsoon showers have heightened the dengue fever threat in Pathanamthitta, especially in the hilly tracts of the district.

District Medical Officer Gracy Ithaq told The Hindu that as on Thursday, 81 people were undergoing treatment for dengue fever in various government hospitals in the district.

Official sources said the number of cases of dengue and viral fever was on the rise, especially in the hilly tracts, in the past one week. This was reportedly owing to the heavy concentration of vectors in these areas, which have a large number of rubber plantations.

Two deaths

Dr. Ithaq said the number of deaths owing to dengue in the district as per government records was two as on Thursday.

A 10-year-old boy, Albin, hailing from Kadambanad, who was undergoing treatment for dengue fever, died at a private hospital at Adoor on Wednesday.

The chikungunya virus infection six years ago had claimed as many as 100 lives in the district, and affected nearly 2.5 lakh people. The district is yet to recover from the secondary complications of the vector-borne fever epidemic.

The DMO said the total number of suspected dengue cases reported at various government healthcare centres was 243.

This was besides the steadily increasing number of viral fever patients at various government hospitals.

Expert team visit

She said a team of experts attached to the Health Department on Thursday visited the Enadimangalam and Koodal areas that have been identified as the worst-affected in the district.

The department conducted public awareness-cum-sanitation programmes in different parts of the district.

Review meeting

District Collector Pranab Jyotinath convened a meeting to review the situation, and directed the health authorities and local self-government institutions to take effective steps for mosquito source reduction by ensuring proper sanitation and waste disposal in the areas under their jurisdiction.

Pollution of waterbodies owing to dumping of waste from chicken stalls, slaughterhouses, hotels, markets and so on is a major public health menace.

Drains that carry waste water from hotels, hospitals, and markets empty out into streams leading to various river systems in the district, posing a threat to public health.

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