Pune study states dengue has grown 100-fold in the past two decases
The first case of dengue fever in Pune was detected in 1994 and then again in 1998. At the time, KEM hospital embarked on a Dengue research project, which has now completed 20 years.
According to Dr Rajesh Gadia, project director, while the intensity of the spread of dengue has increased 100 fold in the last 20 years, there is better understanding and management of the disease resulting in reduced hospital stay for those affected. “Dengue is shifting from urban to rural areas rapidly. Earlier, only three-four cities in India were affected, but now it’s almost everywhere; hence, the spread is manifold,” Dr Gadia says. More than 6,000 patients have been treated at KEM hospital under this project, over 20 years.
Known as the doctor who detected the first case of dengue in Pune in 1994, Dr Gadia says KEM has managed to maintain a mortality rate lower than the World health organisation’s (WHO) mortality rate for this infection. While WHO’s estimated mortality for severe dengue is around three to five per cent globally, in KEM the mortality has slipped to less than one per cent.
“We planned this project to understand what dengue is. Reason being, we detected the first case of dengue in 1994 from Kothrud. A 16-year-old female bled to death and since it was new to all of us we could not diagnose it then, that it was dengue. On studying we were informed it was the vector-borne infection. Later, every year we noticed dengue came back in the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, between June and December,” said Dr Gadia who is an infectious disease expert.
Under the project, 50 doctors were selected from every pocket to issue an alert and send blood samples in case similar symptoms of dengue were spotted.
“Unfortunately in 1998 when we launched this project, we were hit with an outbreak and we saw over 238 admissions, all positive for dengue. The admissions were between August, September and October. We continued to study and observed that dengue which was only spotted in Kothrud was spreading. Cases from small villages too started coming in,” he said.
Dr Gadia described dengue as “a curse of urbanisation,” as it has spread primarily due to urbanisation.
The KEM project found that dengue is cyclical.
“It attacks in a big way after every three to four years. Pune was hit badly in 2005 with a dengue outbreak; we admitted more than 700 cases with us alone. We observed that over the years, strains of dengue have changed. Of the four strains, Dengue type 2 is the most dangerous and life threatening,” he says.
Professor Nilofar Khan, who has 30 years of teaching experience, has been appointed as the first woman vice-chancellor of the University of Kashmir, officials said on Thursday. The order of appointment was issued by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha in his capacity of being the chancellor of the university. She will be replacing Professor Talat Ahmad, who completed his second tenure as the V-C of the university which began in August 2018.
Given the spike in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and threats issued by various terror outfits, the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra starting June 30 to the cave shrine at 13,000ft in south Kashmir is going to be a litmus test for the government. One of the most revered Hindu pilgrimages in India, the yatra is resuming after two years.
Jammu divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar along with additional director general of police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh, handed over an appointment letter and ex gratia to the family of Rahul Bhat, a migrant Kashmiri Pandit government employee who was gunned down in the Valley recently. A financial assistance of ₹5 lakh was also handed over to the family. Jammu deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa had also accompanied Kumar.
Following the conviction of banned JKLF chief Yasin Malik by a Delhi court in a terror funding case on Thursday, wife of late Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, Shalini Khanna, said she was confident of getting justice for Yasin Malik. “Bad deeds lead to bad outcomes,” said the 70-year-old, while demanding Malik be sent to the gallows. Squadron leader Khanna was shot 27 times with an AK assault rifle.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday claimed to have solved the Baramulla grenade attack case on a liquor shop with the arrest of four Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists and a terror associate. The police identified the four militants as Shahid Showkat Bala, Safeer Ahmad Mir, Moh Maroof Saleh and Faisal Shaban Gojri, all residents of Baramulla while their associate Hatif Ahmad Sofi was from Arampora.