Dengue, malaria cases rise in Chennai

Cases of malaria, dengue and leptospirosis are on the rise in the city with the monsoon bringing with it a spate of fevers and infections, say city doctors.

The monsoon is also the busiest time of the year for diagnostic laboratories such as Lister Metropolis Laboratories.

“In the past 10 days, we have been seeing a spurt of monsoon-related ailments. In a week, we have been testing 20-25 cases of dengue fever around the city,” says a consultant pathologist at the laboratory.

Doctors claim that they get more cases of dengue than leptospirosis and malaria as the mosquitoes that cause dengue bite people mostly during the day.

“At night people take precautions such as applying mosquito repellents and using mosquito nets,” says general physician Karthikayini.

“The difficulty in treating dengue is that we can treat only the complications,” says the doctor. The patient develops rashes, becomes lethargic, has stomach pain and suffers from vomiting. The blood pressure and the blood platelet count go down drastically.

Health inspectors in all districts have been instructed to conduct fever surveillance and go door-to-door to interact with people.

Blood samples are collected of those showing signs of dengue and sent to laboratories for testing. Treatment is initiated at government hospitals for those who test positive.

“We focus on source reduction and conduct fogging exercises regularly to eradicate mosquito breeding.

We also educate schoolchildren about the harmful effects of an adult mosquito’s bite and stress on the need to keep their surroundings clean,” says a corporation official.

“With the monsoon rains resulting in severe water stagnation, it is impossible to keep the the winged menace at bay but we are trying our best,” he says.

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