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'Enforce Avoidance of Mass Gathering': Centre Asks 11 States Hit by Dengue to Augment Measures

Dengue-infected patients sit under the mosquito nets at a hospital in Prayagraj, UP (Reuters)

Dengue-infected patients sit under the mosquito nets at a hospital in Prayagraj, UP (Reuters)

The 11 states that are reeling under DEN-2 virus are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

The Centre has asked 11 states reporting cases of serotype - II dengue, which is a more detrimental form of the disease, to ensure implementation of preventive measures ahead of the festive season and spread necessary awareness among people about the virus.

The 11 states that are reeling under DEN-2 virus are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

The Union health ministry, in a press release, asked the states to ensure “necessary precautions and effective enforcement for avoidance of mass gathering and congested closed spaces” and to strictly follow guidelines regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship.

The health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, directed the states to ensure early detection of dengue cases, begin helplines and launch widespread awareness campaigns, stock up on adequate testing kits, larvicides, and medicines, the Hindustan Times reported.

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Dengue infections are caused by four closely related viruses called serotypes. Each of these four viruses (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4) has different interactions with the antibodies in human blood serum.

Dengue serotype 2 viruses have the potential to cause dengue hemorrhagic fever and have been shown to belong to the Southeast (SE) Asian genotype.

The Dengue virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae and comprises the four antigenically distinct serotypes. Human infections are acquired by the bite of the mosquito, usually by Aedes aegypti, and often present as a self-limited febrile illness, dengue fever.

During a review of the Covid-19 situation, the states were asked to implement control measures during the festive season, monitor infections in children as schools reopen as well as breakthrough infections.

The Union Health Ministry has asked the states to deploy rapid response teams for the “emerging challenge" to investigate new cases and take up survey of patients in the area, trace contact, and arrest the breeding of mosquitos. State have also been asked to stock enough blood and blood components such as platelets that critical patients may need.

Besides, the Centre has also directed the states to monitor infections in children as schools reopen.

Bhushan said that there were 70 districts across 15 states that were reporting over 5% positivity rate and 34 districts have reported a positivity rate of over 10%.

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first published:September 19, 2021, 12:42 IST