DEN-2 variant takes centre stage as U.P. records over 6k dengue cases
There are four strains of dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), and among them, DEN-2 is known to infect people the fastest.
LUCKNOW The DEN-2 variant of dengue is prevalent among individuals who have tested positive for this mosquito-borne disease in Uttar Pradesh, according to data from the health department.
“Out of 46 samples sent from Gautam Buddha Nagar for genome sequencing, all have tested positive for DEN-2, the second strain of dengue, which multiplies faster. No new variant of dengue has been reported in the state this year,” said Dr Vikas Singhal, joint director of vector-borne diseases in the Uttar Pradesh health department. Samples from Ghaziabad have also tested positive for DEN-2.
So far, over 6000 cases of dengue and seven deaths among dengue patients have been reported in the state. The three districts with the highest dengue cases are Gautam Buddha Nagar (627 cases), Ghaziabad (575 cases), and Lucknow (700 cases).
DEN-2 was the predominant strain, accounting for over 89% of positive dengue cases in 2022 as well. Among the 252 samples tested to identify the strain, 157 tested positive for DEN-2, while three showed a double infection of DEN-2 and DEN-4, according to the data.
There are four strains of dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), and among them, DEN-2 is known to infect people the fastest. This year, over 6,000 people have tested positive for dengue in the state, with seven fatalities.
“We are currently in the September-October period, which has historically seen a peak in dengue cases. This year, cases are still being reported daily, but with increased surveillance and follow-up by our field staff. However, the number of patients developing severe symptoms and fatalities has decreased. We hope the peak will pass with even fewer cases,” said Dr Singhal.
Among all the reported cases, Lucknow has documented 415 dengue cases. Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary-general of the Association of International Doctors, noted a change in people’s perception, stating that individuals are taking fever, the most common symptom of dengue, more seriously and seeking medical attention earlier. This has contributed to the prompt initiation of appropriate treatment. Dr Shukla also emphasised that dengue symptoms should not be taken lightly and typically include joint pain, fever, vomiting, nausea, and headache.
What’s More Troubling Than Dengue?
High fever and prolonged joint pain following a fever are causing significant distress to many individuals. Doctors attribute this condition to ‘pyrexia of unknown origin’ or viral fever. “This type of fever requires further investigation to determine if it is scrub typhus or another viral infection,” said Dr PK Gupta, former president of the Indian Medical Association in Lucknow.
“Fevers lasting more than 24 hours require proper medical attention, especially among pregnant women. With viral infections affecting many individuals, self-medication should be avoided, particularly among pregnant women, children, and the elderly,” said Dr Amita Shukla, a senior gynaecologist at SC Trivedi Memorial Trust Hospital.
Dr Gupta suggested some measures, saying, “There is no need to panic if you have a fever but test negative for dengue. Keep an eye on your platelet count and haematocrit levels, as they can indicate dehydration.” Doctors also pointed out that despite the sunny and hot weather in Lucknow, there is still a risk of viral fever.
“Using air conditioners at temperatures as low as 20 degrees Celsius and quickly transitioning between indoor and outdoor temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius is risky. It is advisable to maintain a moderate AC temperature of 27 or 28 degrees Celsius,” said Dr Gupta.