Tamil Nadu Reports 3,400 Dengue Cases So Far, Numbers Likely to Rise with Onset of Northeast Monsoon
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The onset of Northeast monsoon has raised fears of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, zika virus, chikungunya and Yellow fever among others in Tamil Nadu. So far, 3,400 people have tested positive for dengue in the state this year and the health department feels that the number of cases could increase to around 4,500 due to short spells of rain showers, leading to accumulation of water.
So far this year, dengue has claimed lives of three people. Two more deaths, each in Vellore and Tiruvallur due to fever, are being evaluated and will be added to the existing numbers of deaths if the cause is confirmed to be dengue fever, reported The News Minute.
In 2018, a total of 4,486 people were tested positive for dengue in Tamil Nadu. The state reported 13 deaths last year.
According to the daily, though the health department is confident of containing the number of deaths this year, it suspects the count of dengue cases will range on a similar range.
"This time too the dengue cases will be close to the 2018 figures. We have already reached 3,400 cases and there are two months - November and December left," The News Minute quoted Director of Public Health Kolandasamy, as saying.
The director further said that it will be helpful if the state continues to witness heavy rains as it will prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
Meanwhile, fines are being imposed by civic bodies across the state on residents and owners who fail to take precaution and prevent the breeding of disease-spreading mosquitoes. According to the report, the Health Department estimates that a total of Rs 1.5 crore has been collected as fine from across the state, of which Rs 40 lakh have been collected from Chennai alone.
The director said that the highest number of dengue cases so far have been reported from Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.
In Tamil Nadu, the latest dengue death reported was of a 4-year-old girl who was a resident of Vellore. She was admitted to the Christian Medical College. The private school in which the girl studied has been fined Rs 1 lakh after the Health Department found that their premises were unclean, reported the daily.
Dengue is spread by the bite of female mosquito Aedes aegypti. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and bite during the early morning and in the evening before dusk.
Initial symptoms of dengue include high fever and severe headache which is often accompanied by joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, soaring of eyes among others. Though dengue does not have any vaccine to date, the treatment is largely based on supportive measures to control the symptoms an individual may have.
People witnessing any of these symptoms should visit the nearby hospital and get themself tested. Instead of self-medication, dengue patients should follow the directives prescribed by the doctors.
To prevent from being bitten by diseases spreading mosquitoes, people can use mosquito repellant, mosquito nets and wear full-sleeved clothes. Also, people must ensure that there is no accumulation of water in the neighourhood as well as in the house. Change and clean water storages at home like water-coolers, air-conditioners, flower pots, aquarium and others.