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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Maharashtra: Amid spike in chikungunya cases, Health Minister Tope orders to intensity surveillance

Rajesh Tope also instructed officers to increase field surveillance in districts like Nashik, Pune, Beed, Kolhapur among others.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
October 28, 2021 1:04:08 pm
Patients with fever and symptoms of Dengue or Chikenguniya at the Fever Clinic in the RML hospital in the capital in New Delhi on tuesday. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 200916

As the cases of chikungunya have more than doubled in Maharashtra, Health Minister Rajesh Tope has instructed to intensify home-to-home surveys in districts with the highest patient burden.

Tope also instructed officers to increase field surveillance in districts like Nashik, Pune, Beed, Kolhapur among others. “Instructions have been provided to conduct thorough surveys across the state and submit the report,” Tope said to Indian Express.

In 2020, amid the pandemic, Maharashtra had recorded 782 chikungunya cases. This year, so far, the number has already crossed 2000-plus cases.

The public health experts have attributed this sudden spike in cases to the intermittent rainfall and rise in the footfall of the public following the ease of Covid-19 restrictions.

As of October 21, Mumbai has recorded 45 cases since January but the cumulative figure is much higher as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) doesn’t have the data from private hospitals.

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito bites. The disease is usually not fatal, but the symptoms can be severe and long-lasting with severe joint pains.

Dr. Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer said that every year, especially during monsoon, two types of surveys are being conducted—entomological and fever surveillance. “Our field officers who are aware of the demography of their assigned areas visit home to home where they conduct fever surveillance and check mosquito breeding grounds. For vector-borne diseases, we follow this process,” said Dr. Awate.

As Indian Express had reported in September, the public health department had directed 15 municipal corporations to urgently appoint personnel to visit 200 homes daily and inspect mosquito breeding sites for the next five months.

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