Monday, July 26

Pune Metropolitan Region feels the sting, dengue & chikungunya cases rise in July – Times of India

PUNE: Mosquito-borne infections recorded a sharp rise in the Pune Metropolitan Region (
PMR) in July, with
PMC sentinel centres detecting 86 confirmed
cases of dengue and 50 cases of chikungunya this month so far as against none in the previous two months.

Besides, data from an accredited private laboratory in the city has revealed detection of 1,201 dengue cases alone during the same period (in the last three months).

“A suspected patient of dengue is presenting with fever, body ache and headache. Most of them are managed on an out-patient-department (
OPD) basis. Only when their platelet counts drop below 50,000 or they complain of vomiting and anorexia that we admit them,” said consultant physician Rajesh Gadia, who has been closely following seasonal trends and clinical presentation in dengue disease in Pune for the last many years.

“Those who are getting diagnosed with dengue this monsoon are primarily from Kondhwa, Hadapsar, Somwar Peth and BT Kawade Road in the PMC limits. I am also seeing patients coming in from Shirur, Daund, and Baramati,” Gadia said.

Favourable climatic conditions, waterlogging, poor water storage practices, lack of public awareness about anti-mosquito measures, and inadequate mosquito management have aggravated the situation, experts said.

At AG Diagnostics, one of the accredited private laboratories in the city, the numbers have been on the rise since June. “We had recorded 81 cases of dengue in May. The number went up to 159 in June and 212 in July so far. These are cases we detected using the dengue IgM antibody test, which is considered the gold standard for the detection,” said the laboratory’s medical director and pathologist Awanti Golwilkar-Mehendale.

Using the rapid dengue test (NS1 antigen), the laboratory detected 133 dengue cases in May, 249 in June and 367 in July. “In short, we have so far detected 1,201 dengue cases in the last three months either using dengue antibody or antigen test,” she added.

The experts said unlike dengue, for which a patient’s blood sample is tested for confirmation, chikungunya is mostly clinically diagnosed by doctors based on a patient’s symptoms as a fatal complication in chikungunya is considered a rarity.

Health activists, however, said PMC should focus on controlling the dengue-causing mosquitoes by identifying and destroying their breeding sites. “People should also see that they are not breeding mosquitoes on their premises too,” activist Sanjay Dabhade said.

PMC’s head of the insect control department Sanjeev Wavare said, “We have already started identifying and destroying the breeding sites on a war footing. Citizens should also do their bit by keeping their premises clean.”

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