Karnataka has reported the highest number of suspected cases of chikungunya in the country till September this year. As per data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, until September 30, there have been 10,466 suspected cases of chikungunya reported in the State, with 1,076 confirmed as positive. In Bengaluru Urban district, there have been 205 suspected cases, with 56 confirmed as positive.
Deputy Director for Malaria and Filaria Control Prakash Kumar B.G. said high number of suspected cases could be attributed to the “excellent surveillance system in the State”. “Our surveillance system at district and taluk levels identifies possible suspected cases and takes preventive measures to prevent the spread of disease in any particular area,” said Dr. Kumar.
But there is no denying the problem of controlling the spread vector-borne diseases. The number of dengue cases, too, is cause for concern: there have been 28,193 suspected cases in the State, out of which 4,637 cases were confirmed. As many as 389 suspected cases and 113 confirmed cases have been reported from Bengaluru Urban district. Although, as per official statistics, no deaths have been reported from the city, death due to dengue shock has been reported in several hospitals in Bengaluru.
Dr. Kumar said a high number of dengue and chikungunya cases had been reported from Bengaluru owing to the improper disposal of solid waste during rainy season.
Doctors in the city, however, say that while the number of confirmed chikungunya cases is low, the huge number of cases coming in for dengue is cause of grave concern. “We are getting around 10 to 20 cases of suspected cases of dengue per day, while chikungunya cases, we get around one or two per day,” said Devendrappa K.R., senior consultant physician, Jayanagar General Hospital, and added, “Although dengue is a self-limiting disease, dengue shock syndrome can occur even on the first day.” According to the doctor, for any fever more than three days, it is better to take a doctor’s opinion, and be cautious if there is BP dropping or platelet count dropping.
Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital (KIMS), Bengaluru, has also been receiving a huge number of patients with suspected dengue. “Dengue cases have been quite high; until two weeks ago, nearly 30 to 40 per cent cases coming to the paediatric ward at KIMS have been of dengue,” said Srinivasa S., head of the department and professor of paediatrics, KIMS.
‘Take up intensive fogging’
The BBMP should undertake more intensive fogging and spraying in regions where dengue has been reported. Steps should be taken to clear out water stored in construction sites and in slum areas, said Deputy Director for Malaria and Filaria Control Prakash Kumar B.G.
“Our aim is to see that breeding places are found and mosquitoes removed, and to control any reported incident. Residents in slum areas store water owing to water shortage, which can become a breeding spot for mosquitoes, such areas should be targeted for mosquito control,” he added.
Prakash Kumar B.G., Deputy Director for Malaria and Filaria Control: The reason Karnataka has such a high number of reported cases of chikungunya is that we have a good surveillance system at taluk and panchayat levels, from where suspected cases are reported.
Shilpa Singi, consultant - internal medicine:
There is an increase in the number of patients coming with high-grade fever with body pain, joint pain and swelling. We get six to seven confirmed cases of chikungunya in a week.
In many parts of the city, mosquitoes are found almost throughout the year and it is a routine to swat and shoo in the evening. Malaria and dengue are spreading in Bengaluru, but the BBMP, which spends crores on mosquito eradication and anti-larval operations, has made no breakthrough. The government should also bring down the cost of mosquito coils, repellent pads, creams etc. — Sayed Muneer
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Health issues are increasing due to unhygienic & impure environment
In the recent days, Bangalore has been seeing higher dengue incidence. But, most remain unreported