When 32-year-old Supriya Mishra heard that her neighbours – a couple residing at Gera Sky Villas at Kharadi – had been infected with dengue, she took precautionary measures. “Little did I know that a week later, my husband will also be hospitalised for the infection, and now I am waiting for the blood test report as my son is also unwell,” said Supriya.
“In a span of three weeks, nine people have been infected with dengue from our society that has three buildings,” said Harish Chetnani, a member of the ad hoc committee on security and administration at Gera Sky Villas. There is a nullah around the society and another construction site where debris lay unattended. “Residents have also been complaining that the water bodies at the nearby resort at Wagholi are stagnant. We have informed the Pune Municipal Corporation authorities but some areas fall under the gram panchayat and they are helpless,” said Chetnani.
It has, however, been a harrowing time for several residents. “We are aware that it can be treated but any sign of fever and we rush to the laboratory to get our blood tested,” said Supriya, adding that another five-year-old from an adjoining building was also admitted to Columbia Asia hospital on Tuesday night.
Dr Pratibha Walde, consulting physician at Columbia Asia Hospital at Kharadi, said around 20 people had been admitted for dengue treatment. “Under my care there are five persons, mainly from Kharadi area,” said Dr Walde. Several have high fever with low platelets, she added.
Dr N D Thakur, assistant medical officer at the Pune Municipal Corporation and in-charge of the dengue control programme, said several awareness programmes had been held and warnings issued to more than 1,200 housing societies. “We have been consistently visiting each society, identifying breeding spots of the Aedes aegypti mosquito,” said Thakur, adding that cases were rising but there was no reason to panic.
“The situation is under control. Some areas come under the gram panchayat but we are helping them by fogging the area,” said Thakur. From January till July this year, a total of 30 cases have been confirmed by the National Institute of Virology, and there have been 120 suspected cases, he added. “Children at 343 schools, workers at 339 anganwadis and construction workers at 538 sites have been sensitised about dengue,” said Thakur.