Rain Brings Dengue, Chikungunya Concerns

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Besides cold and flu, numbers of patients with dengue and chikungunya have spiked.

Even though the monsoon has yet to be set in, the number of dengue cases in the region has reached alarming levels. From January to June this year, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) reported 720 cases of dengue and over 150 cases of chikungunya in all eight of its civic zones. The number of cases may further increase with the start of the rainy season.

To resolve this issue BBMP is making every effort. By doing several exercises, BBMP has built awareness among the public and also monitoring and clearing water in the areas to avoid mosquito breeding. Additionally, frequent spraying and fogging are performed to kill adult mosquitoes in localities. People should also start taking precautions, though, as said by "Dr Manoranjan Hegde, Chief Health Officer.

Aside from cold and flu, doctors at private hospitals also state there has been an increase in numbers of patients arriving with dengue and chikungunya. The cases are even more complex compared with last year, with more morbidity. Dengue and chikungunya are rising, particularly after the recent rains. Every week we see about 25 to 30 patients. What is so special about this year is its strength. We are seeing a steeper decline in platelet counts and more patients with inflammation of the liver, unlike previous years.

Complications of bleeding are also found in patients. At Least 4-5 patients are suffering from dengue-like symptoms daily. Thankfully, they have healed so far and no instance of mortality has been reported. This is due to mosquito breeding, which happens in stagnant water in areas such as the potholes, coconut shells and plastic covers thrown in the garbage, and delayed garbage clearance in some areas.

At Least four patients are coming in with dengue every day and at least seven patients with chikungunya infection have been admitted to the hospital on a weekly basis. Mostly during the day these species bite and breed in the water that is stored in old drums, tyres, cans etc. Dengue infection will not spread directly from person to person, and the vectors that transmit the virus are mosquitoes.

In order to avoid the spread of these diseases, personal and environmental hygiene should be ensured, Dr. K S Harshith, a consultant for internal medicine, Aster RV Hospital, said, adding that over recently they had found 7-8 cases. "The garbage should be regularly washed, so water should not stagnate in and around the houses. Maintaining the working atmosphere safe is of utmost importance as dengue mosquito bites mainly during the day. Wearing full-sleeved shirts, using mosquito nets while sleeping, and applying mosquito repellent ointments are some of the ways to prevent the bite from mosquitoes, " Dr. K S Harshith explained.

Dos and Don’ts:

  • Make sure the kids wear long-sleeved shirts, full trousers and socks.
  • Close all doors and windows before 5 pm so that mosquitoes can not come indoors.
  • Stop heavily scented soaps and fragrances because they attract mosquitoes.
  • Clear any excess water from the potted plants and refresh the water every day in flower vases.
  • Using mosquito nets or repellents at home.
  • Keeping healthy hydration in case of fever and other symptoms. Oral Paracetamol is safe to body ache and fever. Do not take pain relievers. When fever lasts for a few days, see a doctor for further examination.

Symptoms:

The main symptoms include a rapid increase in temperature, muscle and joint pain, headache with eye pain, rash and nausea, vomiting and loose stubble. The complications include fatigue, breathlessness, signs of bleeding and reduced urine production. Hospitalisation for intravenous fluids can be required in serious cases. Complications such as Dengue Shock and Dengue Haemorrhagic F syndrome can be life-threatening and need supervision.

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Dr. K S Harshith

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