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Telangana Health Minister Says Number of Dengue Death Cases Can’t be Confirmed

Around 50 dengue deaths are suspected to have taken place in the state so far, this year, even as health authorities remain tight-lipped on the actual number of such cases.

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Updated:September 4, 2019, 3:31 PM IST
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Telangana Health Minister Says Number of Dengue Death Cases Can’t be Confirmed
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While 530 cases of dengue have been confirmed in Telangana, a state minister has said the authorities are still trying to figure out how many lives the mosquito-borne disease has claimed in the state this year.

The Times of India (ToI) reports that around 50 dengue deaths are “suspected to have taken place in the state so far, this year”, even as health authorities remain tight-lipped on the actual number of such cases, raising questions over their preparedness to deal with malaria, dengue, chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.

“We cannot say how many died of dengue this year. The reason for all the deaths recorded in the hospitals will be analysed to check whether they were caused by viral fever, dengue or influenza and then it will be cross-checked by an expert committee before an announcement can be made. We can only make an announcement after the entire process gets concluded next year,” the newspaper quoted state health minister Etela Rajender as saying in a September 4 report.

The minister didn’t confirm or deny the number of suspected dengue deaths. As many as 530 cases of dengue cases were confirmed in the state “over the last 25 days,” according to the report.

Health officials have held a series of meetings over the last two days to discuss the situation as government and private hospitals continue to report dengue cases.

Compared to 1,012 suspected dengue cases last year till September, 2,113 such cases have already been reported this year.

The state-run Gandhi Hospital has reported around 200 cases of dengue in the last two months, while Osmania General Hospital confirmed another 171 cases.

But there was only one suspected dengue death, according to ToI, which quoted a senior official from the health department as saying, “In many of these cases, the patients had other comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure and heart disease among others. In such cases, the death is not declared as a dengue death although the death occurs due to dengue. Therefore, official numbers declared by the health department is usually low.”

The spike in suspected dengue cases and deaths may force the state health department to reconsider its earlier decision to carry out all tests at Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) and instead sign an agreement with private diagnostic centres for free dengue tests.

Meanwhile, the government hospitals in the state have extended the outpatient services till the evening, owing to the large rush of patients with symptoms of dengue.

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