Kadapa: The district medical health department is taking special measures to control dengue and malaria cases. Although, the diseases are not showing any adverse impact till now, officials are taking precautionary measures as they are likely to increase during the season.
Suspected fever cases are also being monitored separately in each PHC range.
Beginning from January 2020, around 1152 sera samples have been tested. They showed seven dengue positive cases. Of the 106 samples tested this month, only one case was found to be positive.
The main district hospital in Kadapa, district hospital in Proddatur and area general hospitals in Pulivendula are conducting special dengue fever tests. If dengue is suspected, then blood samples taken within the PHC range are sent for further analysis. Nine malaria cases were detected after tests were conducted on 1,94,316 blood samples this year. Nearly 2140 blood samples were tested this month and one malaria case was confirmed.
District malaria officer Hussainamma told Deccan Chronicle that medical health department staff were identifying areas where fever cases were more. Blood samples are being collected in all such vulnerable areas and sent for testing, she said. All such findings are being duly taken to the notice of the municipal commissioner and municipal health officer. They were jointly taking preventive measures, she said.
Assistant malaria officer Rendla Ramachandra Reddy said that when dengue cases are detected in the municipal area, pesticides will be sprayed from the house where the case is located up to fifty houses. They also involve officials from the municipal health department in this exercise, he said. Reddy explained that if cases were found in small villages, then the entire village would be sprayed. He said that they were conducting simultaneous tests for corona, malaria and dengue depending on symptoms.
Shortage of platelets hits AP as dengue cases rise
Shortage of platelets at various blood banks has hit Andhra Pradesh at a time when dengue and other viral fever cases are rising alarmingly over past few weeks.
High circulation of social media posts seeking platelets shows seriousness of the situation. According to BJP workers, even the death of their party state general secretary Lokula Gandhi at KGH in the city due to dengue is owing to shortage of platelets.
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) Andhra Pradesh chapter vice chairman P. Jaganmohan Rao said: "The state requires at least 5,000 units of platelets to meet the demand from all corners per month. But it currently has just between 100–200 units. This clearly indicates acute shortage of platelets in the state."
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, he pointed out that that Covid-19 pandemic, closure of all colleges and “work from home” culture at almost all minor to major private and corporate companies is the reason behind shortage of platelets at blood banks. Otherwise, many students and employees would have donated blood, enabling availability of stocks.
In Vizag, almost all 17 blood banks are battling shortage of platelets.
Port city’s NTR Memorial Trust Blood Centre administrator R. Sunita said: “We are getting requests for 60 units per day, but are able to provide only 30 units. Blood donation camp organisers are finding it very difficult to locate donors. The shelf life of platelets is maximum five days compared with a unit of blood’s life of 30 days."
From January to December in 2020, the state registered nearly 770 dengue fever cases. But this year, nearly 1,500 dengue cases have already been reported, sources said.
"We have registered 179 dengue cases in Vizag city alone against 136 cases last year. Incidentally, we are witnessing more of these cases from Gajuwaka and Gnanapuram areas," said GVMC biologist K. Varahala Dora.
A unit of platelets (50 ml) is priced at around Rs. 600–650 during ordinary days. But the current demand has pushed up these prices.
As per officials, the normal monthly requirement of blood is estimated to be around one percent of total population.