WITH 33 new dengue cases reported in Ludhiana, the total count of patients in the state has touched 1,083 as against 472 cases in the past year. This year, two deaths have been reported while eight deaths were reported last year.
Out of 40 samples, 23 tested positive for dengue in Bathinda Tuesday. With this, the total number of patients in Bathinda reached touched 367, said Dr Rajpal, district epidemiologist.
Health experts said that the early monsoon acted as the main contributor for breeding of anopheles aedes- the mosquito that causes dengue fever. The monsoon pattern has changed every alternate year in Punjab and so have the number of dengue patients, said Dr Gangandeep Singh Kochar, state nodal officer of integrated doses surveillance project. “This year, rains started early and thus giving ample time to larva to breed and hence patients started coming from August onwards while we expect them from September onwards.”
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In 2013, a total of 4,117 patients had been found positive of dengue fever while 25 deaths had been reported. In 2012, only 770 patients had been reported and there were nine deaths. In 2011, however, there were 3,921 dengue positive patients and 33 deaths.
Dr Kochar said, “The figures of the past four years clearly indicate that patients are more in number every alternate year and we have observed that rainfall was also more every alternate year. Breeding of anopheles aedes is linked to rainfall.”
He added, “I am aware that patients are approaching city hospitals. However, every patient does not require platelet transfusion and panic should be avoided. Transfusion is needed only if platelets fall below 10,000. Not more than 10 per cent patients require admissions while the rest can be treated at home. A patient can recover in 7 days time period if he or she takes all the precautions.”
Dengue larvae was found in more than 1,000 locations of Ludhiana in September alone and details have been sent to municipal corporation to issue challans to such houses. As mosquito breeds in fresh water, larvae was found in water of coolers, flower pots, tyres and so on, said district health officer Dr Ramesh.
Tanks with ‘mosquito’ fish
Fish tanks are being constructed at the civil surgeon office in which fish variety Gambusia will be reared. It is also known as mosquito fish. This species eats up larvae of mosquito. Civil surgeon Dr Renu Chatwal said, “We are focusing more on tackling malaria as the fish will be left in the village ponds to eat up larvae of mosquitoes. Dengue mosquito breeds in fresh water, while pond water is stale and hence it will effect more on malaria. However once the breeding of fish is done, we can experiment to leave it in fresh water as well so that it can check the multiplication of mosquito causing dengue as well. But construction of pond is yet to take minimum 2 more months to be completed and only after that will we start breeding of fish.”