Two months ago dengue was made a notifiable disease, but civic health authorities are struggling to get doctors to inform them about dengue fever cases. The fortnight-long dengue school education programme, that began on August 1, also had a very few takers.
Dr Kalpana Baliwant, in charge of the insect control department at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), told The Indian Express that each fever case should be reported to the civic authorities. However, information on dengue cases is only obtained after the doctors visit clinics and hospitals collect data.
Dengue has been made a notifiable disease so that the civic authority can immediately take preventive and containment measures to prevent any outbreak.
“We have urged doctors to at least send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,” Baliwant said.
“From August 1, a fortnight-long dengue school education programme was launched and 15 ward offices instructed to conduct awareness programmes. We wrote to the education board and the school authorities. However, teachers are busy with unit tests and hence, only a few could implement an intensified approach of spreading awareness about dengue in schools, “ Baliwant said. However, she added that ward officers would be visiting schools to conduct sessions for school students on how to prevent dengue.
Rs 71,000 collected in fines for mosquito breeding
From January till date, the PMC has registered 650 suspected dengue cases. A total of 124 samples have tested positive for dengue. Last year there were 19 cases of dengue in July, and from August till October, a total of 399 cases of dengue had been registered in the city. “We have to be extra vigilant now. In July, Rs 71,000 was recovered in fines after our team found mosquito breeding sites at homes, shops, construction sites etc. The mosquito abatement committee will keep a check on breeding sites in an integrated manner,” Baliwant said. The civic body also held two meetings and prepared a list of government and non-government buildings which have failed to prevent mosquito breeding and will likely take action against them.
Increase in dengue, chikungunya cases
At the state’s diagnostic and surveillance laboratory at B J Medical College, there has been an increase in the number of dengue and chikungunya cases in July, according to experts. “We get samples from Pune and other parts of the state and since January, a total of 48 samples have tested positive for dengue. There have also been two deaths,” said Dr M Tambe, Vice-Dean of B J Medical College and Sassoon General hospital. The number of chikungunya cases increased, specially in June and July, doctors said, adding the symptoms were high fever and acute joint pain. Experts have advised patients to get an IgM Elisa test, eight days after the onset of fever, to confirm if he or she had chikungunya.