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5 new cases put district on dengue alert

- State disease surveillance outfit rings alarm bells in East Singhbhum, Dhanbad

The bite seems to be official now — state integrated diseases surveillance programme (IDSP) unit on Tuesday evening issued a dengue alert for East Singhbhum after five positive cases were detected from Tata Main Hospital (TMH), Jamshedpur.

Giving the vector-stung district company is Dhanbad, which also got the alert from the IDSP.

Though TMH did not reveal details of the five persons diagnosed with dengue citing privacy policy for patients, the detection of Tuesday’s cases takes the total number of those suffering from the disease in East Singhbhum to 22.

The number is considerable, given the fact that this is the last lap of monsoon. The only saving grace is that there has been no dengue death so far and no reported cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever this year.

But the IDSP also chose to issue the alert on Tuesday because they considered the continued presence of dengue in mid-September to be a worrying indicator.

So, what does the alert mean for the district? IDSP district unit nodal officer Swarn Singh, who is also the additional chief medical officer, said that every state-run or private hospital would have to report patients with viral or dengue-like symptoms on a 24/7 priority basis.

Fluid samples from these patients would then be tested at the MGM lab in Dimna, Kolhan’s sole laboratory, to check their dengue status.

“We have communicated the dengue alert notification to all private and government hospitals. Hospitals have been asked to submit details of patients with viral fever symptoms or suspected dengue on 24 hours basis to the IDSP district unit. This will aid us to arrange serum or blood sample testing of patients at the MGM Medical College lab in Dimna to confirm dengue,” Swarn Singh said.

There are nearly 30 private and government hospitals in the district.

In 2011, the district had an outbreak of dengue and chikungunya, with one dengue death. In 2010, there were four dengue deaths.

This year, there have been eight deaths from cerebral malaria and five people have lost their lives due to diarrhoea in the district. Dengue sufferers are soldiering on. Sadly, so is the disease.