Dengue Scare Grips Odisha Capital As Cases Spiral

Bhubaneswar: Amid the COVID pandemic, Bhubaneswar is now battling a vector-borne disease. The city saw a spike in the cases in July as the number of those infected spiralled to 131 till Thursday.

Quoting the district malaria office report, additional district urban public health officer (ADU-PHO) Antaryami Mishra said 147 dengue cases have been reported this season since January. “Around 20 cases were detected on Thursday compared to 16 the day before. The highest 39 cases have been reported from Niladri Vihar followed by 17 from Sailashree Vihar,” he told Odisha Bytes.

Sporadic cases have been reported from Chandrasekharpur, Unit-VIII, Kalpana Square and other localities in the city.

The city had reported 39 cases till July 8 while another 92 was added in a week.

People with symptoms of this viral infection have been asked to go for the ELISA test only at government facilities – Capital Hospital, Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) and AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.

Mishra, however, said there was nothing alarming about the situation. “The number will fall once the weather becomes dry or if the city experiences heavy rain, which will wash away the eggs of Aedes aegypti, a mosquito which spreads dengue fever,” he said.

Director of Capital Hospital Laxmidhar Sahoo said around 10 people suffering from dengue are admitted to the hospital. “We have been receiving 4 to 5 cases daily since the beginning of this month. The first patient was admitted a week back. Only those with low blood platelets count are being admitted,” he said.

Public health officials and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) have started taking preventive measures in these areas to control the disease. Awareness is being spread among people to use mosquito repellents, eliminate stagnant water, cover open water containers and use long-lasting insecticidal nets while sleeping.

The BMC is also working on source reduction. Since Aedes aegypti breeds in clean water, people have been asked to change the water in the air cooler, water pot in the Puja room and the water container behind the refrigerator every day and remove waste materials – abandoned tyres and utensils, containing water from the localities.

Anti-dengue fogging drive has also been launched in the affected areas to eliminate breeding of mosquitoes, BMC sources said.

Earlier, entomology experts and senior officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department visited slum pockets and various parts of Niladri Vihar and Sailashree Vihar. The team had suggested a slew of measures including fogging, immediate lifting of garbage and door-to-door surveillance.

The entomologists said the situation can be brought under control immediately if preventive measures are followed properly. The BMC was asked to focus on slums, especially Harekrushnanagar and Sitanathnagar in the city’s north zone, where the outbreak of the infection has put 900 families at risk.

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