Chennai: The recent report by National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme revealed the increase in all vector-borne diseases including malaria, acute ensephalitis syndrome and Japanese encephalitis in the state this year, with highest number of dengue cases in the country.
Despite several measures taken by state health department in Tamil Nadu to control vector-borne diseases, the state recorded 1,451 cases of dengue and one death, 603 cases of malaria, 83 chikungunya cases and 25 and 234 cases of Japanese encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome respectively as per National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme till April 29, 2018.
Till May last year, Tamil Nadu recorded 3,259 dengue cases recorded while malaria cases numbered to 1,538, chikungunya, and JE were 35 and 13. By the year-end last year, dengue led to 63 deaths and 23,035 people were affected. There were more than 5,142 Malaria cases reported throughout the state and the number of cases of chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome was 113, 99 and 1198 in 2017.
Looking at the data till April 29 this year, there are strong indications of the numbers to likely rise with the upcoming monsoons that would lead to a spike in the mosquito population, and ultimately mosquito-borne diseases.
Southern districts of Tamil Nadu including Dindigul, Madurai, Sivagangai and Virudhunagar have reported dengue and chikungunya outbreaks since the beginning of the year. While Dindigul had the highest number of chikungunya cases, Tiruvallur, had reported highest number of dengue cases. Virudhunagar and Ariyalur districts have also reported a high incidence of dengue.
State health department need to intensify vector borne diseases control programme to prevent the havoc caused by these diseases last year.
Public health director Dr K. Kolandaisamy stressed that the environmental factors can affect the incidences of infectious diseases. However, the state health department is closely monitoring all the diseases, especially anti-dengue measures are under implementation and the situation is under control.