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Mosquito turns serial killer

IT SEEMS mosquitoes have declared a war on human beings in Uttar Pradesh? You just name the mosquito-borne disease -- be it Japanese Encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya, kalazar, coxsackie, malaria or filaria -- one or another district is in its grip.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 17:26 IST

IT SEEMS mosquitoes have declared a war on human beings in Uttar Pradesh? You just name the mosquito-borne disease -- be it Japanese Encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya, kalazar, coxsackie, malaria or filaria -- one or another district is in its grip.

According to Health Department officials this year alone around 500 people have been bitten to death by killer mosquitoes and over 5000 people are in grip of the mosquito-borne diseases.

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) has already spread its tentacles in 14 districts. Health Department data states that 1,189 people are in grip of JE and 211 have died. Worst affected are the districts in east Uttar Pradesh, including Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Maharajganj, Basti, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar.

Every day fresh JE patients are being admitted in hospitals located in Balrampur, Gonda, Mau, Azamgarh, Ballia and Ghazipur districts. Though the Health Department has launched intensive immunisation drive in seven districts to check JE, another mosquito-borne disease --- coxsackie -- has taken several people in its grip.

While the Health Department was busy preparing a plan to check spread of JE, the mosquitoes opened another front in Bundelkhand region. According to unofficial figures, over 2,000 people are in grip of suspected chikungunya in Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun and Hamirpur districts.

Recently a fact-finding team of Health Department visited Bundelkhand region.
The team members said each day around 500 to 600 patients were being admitted in various hospitals. We have collected blood samples of the patients and dispatched them to National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD), New Delhi to confirm whether it is chikungunya or not.

Meanwhile, over two dozen cases of dengue have been reported in Lucknow and neighbouring districts. The Health Department has prepared a work plan for dengue. Another mosquito-borne disease kalazar has spread its tentacle in Azamgargh, Ghazipur, Ballia and Jaunpur districts.

Principal Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare, Arun Kumar Mishra has directed the chief medical officers of all the districts to take required measures to check the spread of the diseases. “The Malaria Department and Health Directorate officials would maintain close vigil on the situation. Regular fogging and spray of insecticide would be carried out in the districts,” he said. “There is no scarcity of life-saving drugs and doctors have been directed to visit the affected areas immediately if cases of JE and dengue are reported,” he said.


First Published: Oct 02, 2006 00:42 IST