The district health department is planning to make dengue a notifiable disease and direct private doctors and hospitals to immediately notify health officials about patients with symptoms of dengue.
Only communicable diseases recorded at public hospitals are taken into account on a case-by-case basis. For dengue cases -- suspected, detected or treated -- at private hospitals, the numbers are alerted on a weekly or monthly basis.
Once implemented, doctors and hospitals will have to report every case of the mosquito-borne infection to the public health machinery so that prevention and containment measures can be initiated immediately to check its spread and prevent an outbreak situation.
Upon learning suspected or detected cases, health department officials can immediately carry out preventive measures such as fogging, adding gambusia fish to water bodies or eliminate stagnating water, officials said.
“As there is no specific drug and commercially available vaccine, prevention is the only strategy. Therefore, early reporting of dengue cases is necessary for implementing preventive measures, before it spreads further in an epidemic proportion. Hence, modules for implementing the direction are being chalked out,” a senior health official said.
It is learnt that the initiative has been given serious consideration following last year’s dengue cases figures when the city reported 401 cases, a three-year high.
Hence, this year, a larger emphasis has been given to dengue fever. The health authorities have undertaken various measures this season such as issuing directions to private hospitals for displaying dengue prices on their signboards and making it mandatory for private hospitals to not charge more than Rs 600 for dengue tests.
Web portal and helpline numbers for dengue
The district health department has also launched a web portal -www.humvsdengue.org on to help dengue patients find required blood group, map of all hospitals in the city and information about insurance schemes available for children suffering from dengue.
The health department has also launched a helpline number 0124-2222465 for dengue related complaints and an anti-fogging helpline number 1800-180-1817. People can report their complaints from 9 am to 5pm on all days.