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Dengue outbreak in Assam, 1 dies

Dengue has claimed its first victim in Assam this year with a 36-year-old woman succumbing to the vector- borne disease that has assumed epidemic proportions with Kamrup (metro) identified as the worst-affected district.

By Barnali Handique in Guwahati
  • Published 17.08.16
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Guwahati, Aug. 16: Dengue has claimed its first victim in Assam this year with a 36-year-old woman succumbing to the vector- borne disease that has assumed epidemic proportions with Kamrup (metro) identified as the worst-affected district.

Official sources today said the woman, hailing from Noonmati in Kamrup (Metro), died on August 9 after undergoing treatment for a day.

She had reportedly been suffering from fever for about six days. However, sources claim that she had also suffered from septicaemia which complicated the situation, leading to her death.

The disease has so far affected 392 people with 312 of them being from the Kamrup (metro). Most of the cases were reported during and after the recent floods though it has no direct bearing on the disease.

According to health experts, the cases detected so far have not turned severe and patients are being treated in different government and private hospitals across the state. Since this vector borne disease lacks a definite treatment, only symptomatic treatment is administered to the patients.

Dengue is caused by the bite of the A. Aegypti mosquito that breeds in clean stagnant water. The symptoms of the disease are high fever, severe headache, severe muscle and joint pain, vomiting, nausea and skin rashes. If left untreated the infection can further progress into a dengue haemorrhagic fever that can cause bleeding through the nose or gums, low platelet count and low blood pressure that can prove fatal.

"Dengue cases have been reported from most districts of the state, with Kamrup (metro) recording the highest number of cases. However, patients are receiving treatment and are recovering. This time we have not come across very severe cases of dengue. Fogging operations are being undertaken in the affected areas. People should also ensure that the water in air coolers is changed regularly and stagnant water in any form does not collect in the surroundings," said R. Bhuyan, director of health services.

"I have received a lot of dengue cases from different parts of the Kamrup (metro) district, though more cases are coming from the Zoo Road Tiniali, Panbazar and Noonmati areas. Majority of the patients have tested positive to dengue. Since the disease has no definite treatment, people should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. They should sleep using a mosquito net, wear long-sleeved clothes and avoid letting water collect anywhere in their surroundings," said a doctor.

Health experts said people should consult a doctor in case they suffer from high fever or any other dengue-like symptoms and take the dengue antigen test and platelet count test.

These tests are done at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and in other private laboratories in the city. The results are available within a day or two.

"It is very important that people do not ignore dengue-like symptoms and see a doctor who will advise them to take the dengue antigen test. Less than one lakh platelets per cubic-millimetre in the body can cause bleeding," the doctor added.