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Dengue scene serious, admits government

As many as 3,331 people from 14 states were suffering from dengue, spread by aedis egyptis mosquitoes.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 16:16 IST

The central government on Saturday said the spread of dengue fever - the mosquito-borne disease that has claimed at least 45 lives in the country - had led to a "serious" situation though it refused to declare it an epidemic.

After a review meeting with Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi and health authorities, Health Secretary P Hota said that the "situation is serious. But it is not out of hand".

As many as 3,331 people from 14 states were suffering from dengue, caused by a virus spread by aedis egyptis mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water.

In recent years, the post-monsoon period, especially the month of October, witnesses recurrence of the disease across the country

Hota said all major hospitals were equipped to respond to the challenge and denied any shortage of beds, medical equipment and blood.

"In the past seven days the number of dengue cases has gone up. We cannot show any complacency. We have to be alert till November," Hota told reporters.

"Difficult time is still on but it is not an epidemic," he added.

He appealed to the public to cooperate with the government in counter the dengue threat. "People have to act as health constables," Hota said.

The health secretary said his ministry would soon issue a list of 30 hospitals where dengue would be treated free of charge.

First Published: Oct 07, 2006 22:42 IST