The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Divided over dengue data

Fifty-four cases of dengue have been detected in the past month in ward 30, comprising Narkeldanga and Phoolbagan.

The civic authorities, however, claimed that they had not come across any dengue patient in the area.

The figures emerged from a study conducted by the National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases, as part of an initiative by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute to develop a dengue vaccine.

Under the two-year project, titled Paediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative, 650 blood samples have been collected from residents and patients at BC Roy Memorial Hospital for Children and Beleghata ID Hospital since August 11.

The state health department, however, was unaware of the findings till two days ago. Swastha Bhavan officials said preventive measures could have been taken earlier had they got the report in time.

“Had they sent us the report earlier, we could have launched proper surveillance and prevent the spread of dengue in the area,” a senior health official said on Sunday.

Officials of the institute for cholera and enteric diseases said the health department did not ask them for reports.

“We spoke to senior health officials regarding this and the issue has been resolved. The reports will be sent every week from now on,” said Sekhar Chakraborty, the deputy director (Calcutta) of the institute.

A health department official pointed out that the Indian Council of Medical Research earlier sent dengue reports regularly, based on which preventive measures were taken. “But from August they stopped sending reports.”

The health department has sent the latest report to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC).

“Civic teams have been conducting door-to-door surveys in the ward,” said chief municipal health official DebDwaipayan Chattopadhyay.

Chattopadhyay, however, claimed that the civic body had not come across any dengue patient in ward 30. “The residents whom our teams have met said none in their families had suffered from dengue. But the search will continue.”

According to Chattopadhyay, the CMC has recorded 24 dengue cases in the city this year.

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