Experts call for increased efforts to combat Dengue
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Aizawl: The dengue infestation has spread to almost all the 11 districts of the Mizoram, which has till October recorded an exponential jump of 934 per cent in the incidence of the disease over that of last year, a health official said.

Aizawl district, which is also among the largest in the state, witnessed the biggest spurt. The two cases of death due to the disease this year was reported from Aizawl district, according to the state health joint director (malaria)-cum-state programme officer for vector borne diseases Hmingthanmawii.

The northeastern state has reported 859 dengue cases this year till October this year compared to 83 in 2021. Many of the infected have reported dengue haemorrhagic fever which is a matter of concern, she said.

The state now has a huge number of aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main carrier of the dengue virus, which caused the large number of cases of the disease.

The state had recorded its first dengue cases in 2012 when six people were affected and the fatalities were reported for the first time in October this year, the official said. .

The two dead in the disease hail from Aizawl district. The incidence of dengue in the rural areas is low.

Hmingthanmawii said the department has received verbal information of another dengue death recently which will be officially recorded when the authorities concerned inform the health department.

She said that dengue virus mainly spreads in the post monsoon period in Mizoram. This year the number of infections increased since August and the highest number was recorded in October.

The health department data accessed by PTI showed that Mizoram reported 565 dengue cases against 294 between January and September. In October the highest number of dengue cases during the last 10 years (2012-2021) was reported in 2016 when 580 cases were confirmed, followed by 136 and 131 in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Sixty seven dengue cases were detected in 2020 and 83 in 2021. The number of dengue cases during the last two years (2020-2021) had declined significantly due to the lockdown induced by the pandemic, the health department data said.

Out of the total 859 cases reported so far this year, Aizawl district reported the highest at 773, followed by Lunglei district in south Mizoram at 31. Mamit district in the western part of the state bordering Tripura and Bangladesh reported 21 incidences of the disease, the data said. Hmingthanmawii said the state government has intensified its efforts to control dengue infestation since June. It has observed anti-dengue month in June, conducted awareness programmes, distributed leaflets among the people, organised discussions over TV channels and instructed villages and community leaders to make people aware of the dengue virus.

The health department had issued advisories to the people to regularly use mosquito nets, insecticide like DDT and anti-mosquito creams. It had also advised people to keep their surroundings clean and prevent water logging to avoid mosquito breeding as government efforts may not be sufficient.

It had also asked people having symptoms like dengue to immediately approach healthcare facilities or doctors.

Mizoram at present has two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test machines at two government hospitals and a few more in private laboratories to detect and confirm dengue virus, the official said.

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