State to declare dengue a ‘notifiable disease’

It makes reporting of every suspected case mandatory

August 25, 2017 12:43 am | Updated 12:43 am IST - Vijayawada

T. Ravi Raju

T. Ravi Raju

The State Medical and Health Department is going to be better equipped to deal with dengue as the government is all set to recognise it as a “notifiable disease” and publish it in the Extraordinary Gazette dated August 28.

It makes the reporting of every suspected dengue case by government and private hospitals and laboratories mandatory.

The State government has issued a GO to this effect in accordance with a request from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Cases in A.P.

The gazette notification, as mentioned in the GO, says dengue has become a major public concern in India, accounting for substantial morbidity and mortality, and in A.P. a considerable number of cases are reported every year, particularly in Anantapur, Chittoor, Prakasam, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur, and Nellore districts. Since there is no specific treatment and vaccine for dengue, prevention is the only strategy, which is to make early diagnosis and report the results on a daily basis to check the spread of the epidemic.

The notification stipulates that to ensure early diagnosis and better case management and reduce transmission of the disease, healthcare providers should notify every case to the District Medical and Health Officer and the Municipal Health Officers daily.

This is being done even before dengue is designated as a notifiable disease, but implementation is not up to the mark as the private hospitals and laboratories have either been negligent or are lacking the wherewithal to maintain a proper record to furnish information on a regular basis.

The notification outlines the definitions of Probable Dengue Fevers / Dengue Haemorrhagic Fevers and Confirmed Dengue Fevers, and lays down the criteria for concluding that a patient is dengue-positive.

Effective steps

Speaking to The Hindu , NTR University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor T. Ravi Raju said that after the issuance of the gazette notification, the government would be in a position to take effective disease containment measures as every suspected dengue case would be reported to the designated authorities.

An appropriate strategy for control of mosquito breeding could then be drawn, he observed.

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