41 cases of dengue reported in Chandigarh within a week

"Fumigation, protection against mosquitoes, clean surroundings and ensuring that there is no stagnant water are some of the important measures to be taken, along with taking advice from a medical practitioner in case of any symptoms," said Dr Arun Bansal of PGI.

In the past week, Chandigarh has recorded more than 41 cases of dengue, with cases of malaria and influenza also being reported daily now. The emergency ward of the Advanced Centre of Pedatrics, PGI, has seen a large number of admissions of children with dengue, malaria and influenza, and the cases, said Dr Arun Bansal of the Department, are from across the region and all age groups. “The load of patients is very high in the department and some are critical. There is no specific reason why the cases are severe. I can probably attribute it to the fact that for the last two years, children have been indoors and so the immunity against these viruses may have gone down”, he said. “High fever, body rash, pain in abdomen, lethargy are the signs and symptoms that many are reporting. Fumigation, protection against mosquitoes, clean surroundings and ensuring that there is no stagnant water are some of the important measures to be taken, along with taking advice from a medical practitioner in case of any symptoms,” he added.

Prof Surjit Singh, Head of the Advanced Pediatrics Centre PGI, said that from July to September, any hospital in the country will experience a large number of patients with these seasonal illnesses. “From the medical point of view, these illnesses in children are the same and thankfully most are Covid negative. Yes, the patients load is increasing drastically and our OPDs are getting longer, with patients from across the region here. The medical emergency ward is witnessing a heavy rush and is completely full. Our peripheral services have to be upgraded and more facilities offered to tackle this load on the institute, which is currently overwhelmed. There are only so many beds, ventilators and specialised services that we can increase. We need to be careful and not overburden the system, ” he said.

To cope with the increasing number of patients of dengue and malaria, the GMSH 16 has increased its testing facilities for dengue and malaria. Acording to Dr. VK Nagpal, the Medical Superintendent, the hospital is ensuring that there is no shortage of platelets, with two doctors available 24×7 for these patients with additional staff trained to deal with dengue cases. “We have to be careful for a month more ; people with high-grade fever, body rash, abdomen pain must go for a blood test and seek treatment. We have deputed medical teams to high-density areas of the city to check for collection of stagnant water, breeding of mosquitoes and information dissemination. Fumigation will be increased to check spread,” he added.

Prateek Rishi, representative for the city-based Robin Hood Army said that platelet requirements, mostly for cases of dengue have increased over the last one week. Dr Vikas Bhutani, Director Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, said that they are seeing an increasing number of dengue cases this season, out of all other tropical diseases. The doctor added that people must go immediately to an emergency room or the closest hospital if any symptoms appear. The best way to prevent dengue fever is to take special precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes, he suggested. He advised that people use a mosquito repellant on exposed parts of the skin especially in children, before going out. “Dress in protective clothing. Use mosquito coils and nets, when required.”

Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, so it is vital to use precautions especially during early morning hours and in the late afternoon. Aedes aegypti ,the vector mosquito, breeds primarily in man-made containers used for domestic water storage, with ground depressions also potential sites for breeding. All these sites require proper inspection and maintenance to prevent its spread, Dr Bhutani said. He also that there is a need is prevent bredding by adding kerosene oil to stagnant water. “During outbreaks, emergency control measures may also include the application of insecticides as space sprays to kill adult mosquitoes and using portable pump machines spraying Baygon or DDT”, he added.

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