Chennai

‘2,000 dengue cases so far’

A view of the Dengue fever ward in the Institute of Child Health, Egmore, in Chennai. B. Jothi Ramalingam  

The incidence of dengue is high in the districts of Tamil Nadu bordering Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. With the Chennai-to-Coimbatore belt being the focal point, the Health Department has stepped up surveillance and preventive measures. It has deputed senior officials as nodal officers.

According to health officials, the number of dengue cases has crossed 2,000 so far this year. “The incidence is the same as it was last year. But there should be no further increase in the case load. So, we have intensified efforts across the State,” a health official said.

K. Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said, in 2017, the problematic areas were districts bordering Kerala. “This year, dengue cases are being reported from districts bordering Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This involves the Chennai to Coimbatore region,” he said.

Nodal officers

He added that the Health Department has deputed senior health officials and IAS officers to places/districts where more number of dengue cases were reported. Officials were appointed as nodal officers for the Chennai Corporation, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Salem and Krishnagiri.

“All district collectors are taking intensive measures for dengue prevention and control. We are ensuring that our staff are on the field before 7 a.m., before people leave for offices. We want to achieve maximum coverage for house visits during this time,” he added. Simultaneously, cleaning and fogging of premises of schools before they reopen are being done.

“We have issued an advisory to hospitals to monitor patients three days after fever subsides — afebrile period — as this is the time when complications arise in dengue,” he said. As per the advisory, hospitals have been told not to discharge patients within 72 hours of fever-free period. They can discharge patients three days after fever subsides, appetite returns, urine output is normal and when the child is active.

At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, the fever ward has 100 beds, apart from 10 beds in fever Intensive Care Unit and 30 in the step-down ward.

“As of now, 120 patients are admitted for fever. Of this, 20 have tested positive for dengue but all are stable,” dean R. Jayanthi said. “We have a system to follow up on patients for two weeks after discharge. We are noting down their addresses and telephone numbers. We will call them once in five days for follow-up,” she said.

As a feedback system, a postgraduate student of the Department of Community Medicine will call the persons and ask them about the treatment provided in hospital, their level of awareness of dengue and how they will help in behavioural modification in the community by spreading awareness, she added.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 12:18:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/2000-dengue-cases-so-far/article29560497.ece

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