The Health Department says that it is chalking out a special strategy and action plan for the capital district for tackling the threat of dengue fever, which seems to be assuming alarming proportions year after year in the district. The district has reportedly registered an all-time high number of confirmed dengue cases this year so far, accounting for almost 90 per cent of the cases reported across the State.
The number of dengue cases reported in the State this year has crossed 2,100 so far, as per Health Department figures. As on September 12, the number of dengue cases reported in Thiruvananthapuram district is 1,830, out of which the Corporation wards alone account for 1,389 cases.
The maximum number of cases were reported in June (331), July (464) and August (359). The number of cases reported last year in the district was just over 800. In 2010, the figure was 1,145 and in 2009, it was 805.
The incidence pattern of dengue has not changed at all in the State or in the district in the past five or six years. Dengue is endemic in the district. However, it would seem to defy all logic that one district in the State alone should bear the brunt of the dengue burden when the menace posed by the vectors, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are no less in other districts.
District health administration points out that the district has an excellent fever surveillance and reporting system and diagnostic facilities and the huge number of dengue fever cases is an indication of the alertness of the health system. The low case load of dengue in other districts is a gross underestimation, it is pointed out.
“During the fever season, doctors treat every fever case as suspected dengue and blood samples are sent for testing. We were testing over 1,800 cases of ‘suspected dengue’ every month during June-August,” says an official at the Public Health Lab. “Doctors have become so good at managing dengue clinically that despite the huge case load, there has not been a single dengue death reported this year.”