First Chandipura case since 2012 reported in Maharashtra
The Maharashtra public health department reported the first positive case of Chandipura virus (CHPV) since 2012 on Tuesday from Yavatmal district.
CHPV is known to cause highest mortality and has a fatality rate of more than 50 per cent.
Besides, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a fatal and mortality causing virus has also been reported in Maharashtra’s Vidharbha region. An outbreak of JEV has been confirmed in Vidarbha by the Maharashtra public health department. Both the infections are known to cause acute encephalopathy (severe brain damage) which can in turn be fatal.
Dr Mahendra Jagtap, state entomologist said, “Within five days, 15 positive cases of JEV and 43 suspected cases of the same infection have been reported from Vidarbha while one positive case of CHPV and another suspected from Yavatmal district has been reported and confirmed on Tuesday.”
Jagtap said, “The confirmed case of CHPV is that of a seven-year-old girl. It is known to mostly affect children below the age of 15. ”
Dr Anup Yadav, director, Maharashtra’s Public Health Department said, “To avoid the outbreak in other districts, we have instructed our teams to conduct vaccination drives on immediate basis.”
He said that vaccination drives are conducted every year in districts of Gadchiroli, Gondia, Bhandara, Amravati, Beed, Nagpur, Latur, Yavatmal and Washim, he said.
Dr Yadav added, “We are following the World Health Organisation’s footsteps and suggestions in controlling the vector borne diseases. We have issued a warning and guidelines for all the officials and medical teams deputed in the areas, where the cases have been reported.”
Dr Pradeep Awate, epidemiological director, Maharashtra health department and also infectious diseases expert of Maharashtra said, “Mainly the precautionary measures include vaccination and prevention from mosquito bites.”
State to announce medical helpline
Given the frequent calls and inquiries from public regarding mental health, non-communicable diseases and organ transplant, the state public health department has decided to start a helpline for the same.
A three digit number which will be toll free will be announced by the state soon.
Giving the details about the helpline, Dr Anup Kumar Yadav, director, state health department said, “There will be a call centre for the same where this helpline will be placed. The centre will be located in Aundh in the Civil Hospital premises. We plan to have more than four people handle calls along with counsellors.”
Aarti Gokhale, chief coordinator at Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) Pune said, “It is true that there is an increase in number of phone calls with us and otherwise at the city hospitals related to organ donation and transplants. People are curious to know about donation, pledges and how it takes place . Hence, the state’s move is more than welcoming at this point of time when we are making progress in organ donation field and saving many lives.”