Hyderabad: The number of dengue cases being recorded and tested positive in hospitals across the city is at an all-time high, reiterated medical experts at a round table conference held on dengue in the city on Thursday.
Participants, including professionals and practitioners of medical fraternity, paediatricians and general physicians, activists and community members, at the conference organised by activist Karuna Gopal, were keen that awareness must be created about the public health emergency in the state, said that the government’s strategy of denial of the problem has not only put the medical community on an edge but also common people, who want to know how they can tackle, or prevent, dengue.
The spread of dengue across the city and state raised concern on how the virus has travelled from mosquito to man and then from infected patients to mosquitoes, and has spread across different parts of the city and state, experts opined, adding that to control the virus, the government has to first accept that there is a problem and that incidences of seasonal diseases have seen a record number this year.
The widespread cases indicate that infiltration levels of dengue virus has created an epidemic, which puts every single citizen’s health at risk and a robust mechanism was needed to deal with it, they said. It would require not only government’s intervention but also a strong initiative from the community to control the virus, the experts emphasised.
Dr. Vasanth Kumar, senior general physician, who has practiced in Hyderabad for the last 40 years explained, “I have not seen a season so bad as this. There are more children affected this year, which means something has definitely gone wrong. To address the problem, it is our duty to accept that there is a problem. Till we accept the problem how can it be dealt with?”
Doctors strongly condemned the dilatory tactics of the government when rapid diagnostic test of NS1 is certified the cases. Instead of raising a hue and cry, the government should accept the truth, they said. The test is the first step to identify dengue, after which a treatment can commences, leading to its management and cure, but a denial will allow it to deteriorate.
Why must ELISA test be taken as a yardstick for government to record cases?, they asked.
Dr. Vijay Anand, senior paediatrician, explained, “Need of the hour is that within next two weeks, we must have robust control measures and awareness in the community. People need to know what effective preventive methods are. Epidemic proportions of the disease this year means that we will have another outbreak next season too, as the mosquito has spread all around.”
The presence of virus in the air and proliferation of mosquito means dengue would emerge back once conducive atmosphere sets in next year, they warned. Identifying endemic zones, recording of large number of cases, carrying out preventive methods and sensitizing the people are very important measures to take up now, they said.
The present situation in most cases is that people are not aware of what to do. It requires building immunity against the virus. Dr Pradeep Saxena, who practices integrated medicine, explained, “It is important that we have a proper supplementation of vitamin C and vitamin K in all age groups. This will help build immunity and help the body fight against the virus.”
Due to rains continuing in September, it is feared that dengue cases, instead of reducing, would see a spike because of consequent stagnant water in which mosquitoes will breed.