With at least two children dying in the district in the past one week in suspected cases of dengue and dozens of patients under treatment for dengue in Government Rajaji Hospital, government hospitals in Tirumanagalam, Usilampatti and private hospitals, Madurai seems to be no exemption to the State-wide trend of increasing dengue cases.
While the deaths of R. Sanjana (3), a resident of Sellur, and M. Thiruselvi (11), residing in Kayampatti near Othakadai, were widely reported in the media, officials in the district administration acknowledged that there were a few more deaths that were classified as ‘fever’ deaths in the past three weeks.
Stating that the 30-bed dengue ward in GRH remained fully occupied almost always for the past three months and more patients were now accommodated in other wards as well, a senior doctor from GRH, who also practises in private hospitals, said that some of the multi-speciality hospitals in the district were also handling a large number of cases.
“However, not all the patients can be said to be from Madurai since GRH and these private hospitals cater to many neighbouring districts as well,” he added.
Acknowledging that dengue was prevalent in the district, a senior official from Health and Family Welfare department said that the situation in Madurai was better when compared to some northern and western districts.
“Though a large number of patients are getting treated in hospitals, they have a variety of fever and not just dengue,” he said. “The good rainfall received in August and September in the district proved to be a challenge in controlling the fever cases,” he added.
Stating that the situation in Melur region, which had a spike in number of dengue cases in July, was now under control, the official said that the focus was now on Chellampatti, Vickramangalam and some areas near Tirumangalam that have witnessed more cases in recent weeks.
Speaking to the media, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said that there was no reason to panic.
“There were 1,046 dengue cases in the district this year till the end of September. However, September has shown considerable decrease compared to the previous two months. We are expecting further decline in October,” he said.
He said that more than 1,000 personnel had been deployed across the district for mosquito control activities. “The deployment of Village Health Nurses in proactive screening of fever cases has shown good results,” he said, adding that private hospitals had also been strictly advised to follow proper treatment protocol and refer at-risk cases to GRH without any delay.