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A unique strategy to predict epidemics has been launched by Pune Zilla Parishad health authorities. Using sophisticated software to tally medical reports,Pune Zilla Parishad has come out with a plan that provides early warning signs of an epidemic.
As part of its integrated disease control programme,the ZP has compiled reports under three to four categories and fed into the software on fever cases,mosquito density,potability of water and others from 96 primary health centres and rural hospitals in the district.
If there is a rise in diahorrea cases then this report is immediately compared with the report on potability of water in the same area. Likewise if there is a rise in the number of fever cases then that report is tallied with the report on mosquito density so as to zero in on the problem, district health officer Dr N D Deshmukh said.
With five cases of viral hepatitis E from the Mulshi block,the health authorities are now inspecting water supply sources. There were ten cases of malaria so far. However,lack of diagnostic facilities at primary health centres to detect dengue fever cases has led the Pune Zilla Parishad health authorities to tie up with the state laboratory at B J Medical College.
From July 1,serum samples of suspected dengue fever cases are being sent to the state sentinel surveillance centre so that preventive action can be initiated in case of an epidemic,Deshmukh said.
So far 17 cases of dengue fever have been reported from Maval,Daund and Phursungi since April. Deshmukh,who conducted a meeting of laboratory technicians from the district on Tuesday,said they will now adopt a strategy where blood samples of suspected dengue fever cases will be collected and sent to B J Medical College.
If the fever cases are positive with dengue virus infection,results will now be available within 48 hours and district health authorities can take preventive measures,Deshmukh explained.
Dr A G Rajput,Head of the department of Microbiology at B J Medical College and coordinator of the state diagnostic laboratory said that they received samples from Pune and various parts of the state. In April out of 138 samples,ten were positive for dengue fever,in May out of 104 samples,nine were positive of which three were from Shirur and Saswad,while in June out of 115 samples eight were positive for dengue fever.