CHANDIGARH: An alarming rise in dengue cases this season in the city has made many a parent apprehensive about sending their children to play in parks or attend school. As compared to last year, the vector-borne disease swelled to 105 this September, when it was only one last September. Going by figures from public city hospitals and known private labs, there were 105 confirmed cases this September. According to experts, children and the elderly are more vulnerable to dengue as they have weak immunity. “Children are at risk as they have low immunity. Schools must spread awareness and identify areas where water collects, which must be removed to prevent breeding of dengue mosquitoes,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, head of the school for public health, PGI. He added, “Dengue-causing mosquitoes are day time ones and they lay eggs during this season. Whenever they lay eggs for their survival these mosquitoes bite humans for blood,” said Dr Rajesh. Jittery about the proliferation of dengue mosquitoes, Aparna Verma, a resident of Sector 18 said, “There are so many dengue cases in our neighbourhood. I am afraid that my kids might contract dengue as they frequently play in the garden.”Dr Brahmjyot, a pathologist at a private hospital in Sector 32 said, “In the last five-six years, Ive never seen such a spurt in dengue cases. Every day, we confirm a case of dengue. Till now we have 20 such cases.” Not many patients come back for more tests and end up getting a severe form of dengue. Citing figures from her diagnostic lab in Sector 22, Dr Poonam said, “Out of 10 samples, 2 tested positive for antigen test. We have got some 80 samples till now.”There have been 69 confirmed cases of dengue according to data from national vector-borne disease department from public hospitals.
Spurt In Instances
Boy falls victim
On 24 September, an 8-year-old boy from the city, died in the PGI due to dengue. Last year there was only one case in September
Take lots of fluids, seasonal vegetables and fruits
Wear full sleeve shirts and avoid moving out in dense vegetative areas
The mosquito can breed in 10-15ml of water too. So, it is recommended to drain off excess water from flower pots too. Doctors advise use of repellent creams and mosquito coils/repellents indoors. There is no cure, only prevention can help
In some people depending on immunity, dengue is moderate and goes away on its own after a few days of of fever. Dengue used to occur after 2-3 years of gap. Now it has become seasonal and widespread with rise in urbanization and more and more people travelling to different places frequently.
Commentary: In my practice in the tricity are of Mohali & Chandigarh, we are definitely seeing a rise in the number of children with viral infection, low platelet counts and even Dengue serology (NS-1) positivity. Luckily, most of these are kids with a high platelet count and do not require any specific treatment. Rather than panicking parents are well advised to get early opinion from a Pediatrician in case of persistent fever, and get a platelet count done as needed. Further tests are only needed in case of worsening symptoms or abnormal lab results.