Maharashtra has the highest mortality rate in the country in dengue cases, according to data from National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP). State wise provisional data for dengue cases and deaths available on the NVBDCP website shows that Maharashtra has reported 59 dengue death from January to November 26 this year. Tamil Nadu reported the 60-dengue deaths, the highest in the country in the same period.
However, mortality rate for the disease in Maharashtra is as high as 3.4% - 59 deaths in 1731 cases of dengue, while Tamil Nadu had 9249 cases of dengue, giving it a mortality rate of 0.64%.
“This year, the DEN-2 virus which is more severe in nature is in circulation in the Western part of the country. The apt way to tacke such mosquito borne diseases is to reduce the source of transmission by eliminating breeding sites,” said Dr AC Dhariwal, director, NVBDCP.
Amidst speculation over mutation of the virus, Dr Dhariwal said there has been no mutation in the dengue virus. “The dengue virus is classified into serotypes, which are further classified in genotypes. The type of virus in circulation will decide the course of the illness and hence we are seeing different symptoms this year,” said Dr Dhariwal adding that if people didn’t store water in containers for more than seven days there would no breeding grounds. State health officials said that Mumbai has reported the highest number of dengue cases in state. Since January, the city has recorded 935 dengue cases. “Dengue is a national issue, not just Mumbai’s problem. In fact, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal has more cases than Maharashtra, as per the figures,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
BMC collects samples for malaria instead of dengue
Mumbai: Following the death of two Malwani residents of the same family, the civic body initiated a random survey of patients suffering from fever in the area.
In the last 3 days, instead of screening people for dengue, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) surveillance investigators are collecting blood smear samples to check for malaria. According to sources, samples for 300 people have been sent to Kasturba hospital’s laboratory for testing.
On December 5, Tariq Jafri, 32, died of dengue Shock Syndrome with Multi Organ Dysfunction Syndrome at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Andheri. His daughter, who was also diagnosed with dengue, died a few days later.
Local civic officials said that collecting samples for dengue is not in their mandate. “The surveillance investigators are not trained for blood collection for dengue testing,” said a civic official from P/north ward.
“In such situations, we first rule out malaria cases. We can’t undertake a random screening activity for dengue patients,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, chief epidemiologist, BMC. A senior doctor from private hospital said that the civic body should screen people for dengue and not malaria. “Any technician who can collect blood for malaria testing, can do it for dengue also,” said the doctor. So far the civic body has identified 12 patients with fever. “None of the people whose blood smears have been collected have tested positive for malaria,” said Dr Gomare.