The Telegraph
Thursday , September 6 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rain boost in dengue battle

Calcutta received the season’s highest rainfall so far on Wednesday — 86mm — raising hopes that at least some of the eggs and larvae of the dengue-causing mosquitoes would be washed away.

Two more dengue deaths came to be known on Wednesday, taking the unofficial toll to 12 in the city and 14 in the state. A patient suffering from dengue-like symptoms also died during the day.

The official toll, however, is four.

Reba Biswas, of Habra, died at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital on Saturday. “The 47-year-old had tested positive in the confirmatory dengue test, MAC-ELISA. She was also suffering from diabetes and psychiatric problems,” said a health department official.

Thirty four-year-old Nabamita Mondal, a resident of NSC Bose Road in south Calcutta, died at Belle Vue Clinic on Tuesday after suffering a dengue shock.

“The patient had tested positive in the MAC-ELISA test. She had been on ventilator since being admitted to the hospital on Friday and died of multi-organ failure,” said a Belle Vue official.

Bappaditya Majhi, 25, a research scholar at Ballygunge Science College, died at a nursing home on Wednesday after suffering from dengue-like symptoms. Originally from Bandel in Hooghly district, Majhi stayed at a mess in Garcha.

“His platelet count fell steadily throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday, a clear symptom of dengue. He died in the evening before the MAC-ELISA test could be conducted,” said a doctor who had treated him.

The health department admitted Reba had died of dengue and increased the official toll to four but is silent on Nabamita.

Doctors hope the heavy showers would help contain the outbreak. “Something was needed to break the cycle of fast multiplication of the vector population and the showers have done just that,” said a doctor.

Between 8pm on Tuesday and 5.30pm on Wednesday, the city received 86mm of rain. The season’s previous highs were 38.3mm on Tuesday and 37.6mm on August 11.

The wet spell is likely to continue at least till Thursday afternoon.

“Two factors were responsible for the heavy rain — the strengthening of the monsoon trough that is passing over Digha and a low-pressure belt over Madhya Pradesh,” said G.C. Debnath, director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

“The monsoon trough, at an altitude of 8km from the sea level, is extremely active and sucking in loads of moisture from the sea,” said a weather scientist.