At 133, highest number of dengue cases recorded in October

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation recorded a total of 133 dengue cases in October, the highest recorded in a month so far this year, which means an average of four people in the city was diagnosed with dengue infection everyday in the month. As many as 126 cases were recorded in September.”As many as 133 people tested positive for dengue in October. So far a total of 537 dengue cases have been recorded in Pune city this year. Among them, seven died due to the viral infection in this period,” said a civic health official.

The mosquito-borne infection has gripped the city since June and more cases are being reported from Warje, Hadapsar, Kothrud, Tilak Road, Karvenagar and Aundh. Residents of Dhole Patil Road, Ahmednagar Road, Sangamwadi, Bhavani Peth, Vishrambaugwada, Bibvewadi, Sahakarnagar and Dhankawdi have also been affected.

The dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) is currently predominant among the three serotypes of the virus co-circulating in Pune. DENV-2 causes severe infection. The scientists at the National Institute of Virology(NIV) identified the serotype in a molecular study of 51 blood samples of dengue-infected patients from Pune till October. Of these, DENV-2 was the causative agent in 35 cases, DENV-1 in 11 samples and DENV-3 in five samples.

As far as virulence of different serotypes is considered, it is believed that DENV-2 is associated more often with dengue haemorrhagic fever that occurs in secondary infections.

There were 36 confirmed cases of dengue in Pune city in June. It rose to 44 in July and 99 in August, he added.

Climatic conditions favourable for breeding of mosquitoes, increased storage of water, increasing construction activity, piling of garbage, lack of public awareness about the measures that need to be taken has aggravated the situation. Since Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which spreads dengue breeds in fresh water, it is imperative for every household to empty and clean all utensils and tanks at least once a week.

The number of reported dengue cases has gone up considerably ever since the PMC’s health department started collating data from private hospitals this year. Earlier, the PMC would collect data only from the government-run Sassoon General Hospital and the civic hospitals.

Key facts

* In India, dengue outbreaks have been reported since the 1950s. It was labeled as an urban disease and was not considered to be a serious problem as it is a self-limiting infection with fever and body ache as the common symptoms

* Since the late 1980s, the occurrence of severe dengue changed the profile of the disease

* An outbreak of dengue haemorrhagic fever in the capital in 1996 brought dengue into focus

* Most major cities are now endemic and have annual seasonal rise in activity

* The trend continued and today, severe dengue is seen in most cities that experience the disease

* The case fatality rate can vary in dengue from around 0.1% to 1.5%, depending on the treatment

* In Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune, Sangli, Wai, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Jalgaon and Nagpur are endemic for dengue

* Dengue has now spread into rural areas and claimed newer regions