From a level of 22 fresh cases every single day during the months of September to November last year when the epidemic was peaking in the city, incidents of dengue have come down to between zero and two per day during the first week of January.
Even though, at 460, the total number of dengue cases here had increased compared to the previous two years of 2011 and 2010 when 248 and 152 cases were recorded, respectively, Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan informed that Coimbatore — along with Salem, Theni and Tiruchi — had the lowest incidences of dengue in 2012 when the epidemic struck across the State.
Speaking to The Hindu , he said the disease was focused only in some blocks of the district. The primary health centres that recorded the highest number of cases were located at Thudiyalur (49 cases), Pugalur (22) and Somanur (21).
Among the measures adopted to monitor dengue outbreak, he said, was to extend the Health Department’s surveillance from government health institutions alone to include private hospitals capable of treating the disease. The private institutions were instructed to provide data on dengue on a daily basis to the Department. Further, a dedicated telephone line — (0422) 222 0041 — was also established for the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, which functioned 24 X 7, when the dengue cases were peaking, to receive information from the public on dengue cases in their locality.
A Rapid Action Team (RAT) was also formed to reach the areas of dengue outbreaks expeditiously. The authorities closely monitored the vector indices such as House Index, which measured the extent of mosquito breeding, and Breteau Index, used to evaluate the strategies adopted to control mosquitoes. Dr. Damodharan said that Health Inspectors conducted regular surveys in their blocks and all persons who had fever that persisted for more than four days were administered platelets.