Kerala

Expert blames vector density on dengue spurt

Community told to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on residential premises and at workplaces

The huge dengue case burden in Kerala this year is owing to the explosive levels of vector density of both Aedes species of mosquitoes — A. aegypti and A. albopictus — in all districts, Kalpana Baruah, Joint Director, National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), has pointed out.

Dr. Baruah is here on a two-day visit, along with public health professionals from the National Centre for Disease Control, to assess the dengue situation in the State.

“Entomological surveys done by the State Health Department have shown plenty of breeding sites of both aegypti and albopictus species inside homes. Unless the entire community wakes up to the responsibility of mosquito elimination within their homes, premises and workplaces, the State will continue to have huge dengue epidemics,” Dr. Baruah said.

Lower than 2013

Though the dengue mortality this year seemed high, it was still lower than the mortality profile in the 2013 epidemic.

Dr. Baruah pointed out that analysis of serum samples in Thiruvananthapuram district had revealed DEN 1 to be the predominant virus sero type in this year’s epidemic, even though DEN 2 and DEN 3 had also been detected. DEN 1 is associated more with the risk of the complications of dengue fever, which is probably the reason for high morbidity as well as the high case numbers, she said.

Dr. Baruah, who held discussions with the State health officials as well as doctors from the medical college hospital here, said that among people in the higher age group, co-morbidities like diabetes and high blood pressure had proved to be fatal, while in the case of children, late referral to tertiary care centres had resulted in many deaths.

“Though universally, source reduction or elimination of mosquito breeding sites is accepted as the most effective strategy to check the spread of dengue fever, Kerala will need to pay increased attention to the elimination of adult mosquitoes also, given the high vector density across the State,” Dr. Baruah said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:09:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/expert-blames-vector-density-on-dengue-spurt/article19181128.ece

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