Dengue has taken a serious turn in Malda district with around 700 persons infected during the past three weeks.
In the last week alone, the number of dengue patients detected was 300, much to the concern of the district administration and health department.
“Since January this year, around 1,400 people have been infected with dengue in Malda district. But over the past three weeks, there has been a steep rise as 700 patients tested positive. Among them, 300 got infected in the past seven days. This clearly shows the surge. Till September first week, that is, for over eight months this year, the total number of dengue cases was 700 and in the next three weeks the number is again 700,” said Sudipta Bhaduri, the Malda chief medical officer of health.
He, however, confirmed that so far no one had died of dengue in Malda district.
Sources in the health department and district administration said Kaliachak-III, Ratua-II and Englishbazar blocks of the district were the worst hit.
“We are focusing on early detection of dengue. Instead of testing around 700 blood samples a week, we have increased the number of tests to around 1,600 per week,” the CMOH added.
On Tuesday, officials of the administration and health department held a meeting to discuss the situation and to draw up plans to curb the infection across the district.
“All blocks and civic bodies have been put on alert. Special drives are being taken up in dengue-prone areas and in locations where the intensity of positive cases is high. We are insisting on early detection of dengue so that treatment can begin fast, especially for patients who have medical histories of cardiac, renal and liver-related complications,” said a health official.
Every day, surveillance teams visit private nursing homes and clinics to confirm that the protocol of dengue treatment is being followed properly. Such inspections are also being made at the government hospitals.
A senior official in the administration said due to the recent monsoon rain, rainwater has accumulated in some locations.
“Such accumulated water can act as a breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. That is why health workers, along with the conservancy staff, are visiting localities to find out whether there is such water. Steps are being taken to clear the accumulated water from a number of areas,” he said.
In Malda, it rained 453mm in September alone. There is a forecast of more rainfall during the next couple of days.
A section of health officials feel that the dengue surge might continue. “Infections will reduce once the winter gradually sets in,” said one of them.
They have advised that if a person suffers from a fever for more than two days, he should undergo a blood test.
Nitin Singhania, the district magistrate, said they had engaged drones to find out the sites of accumulated water in residential areas as well as vacant places. “Teams are being sent to such locations to flush out the water,” he said.
For Englishbazar civic area at the district headquarters, the Trinamul-run civic board has formed teams to inspect the situation in all 29 wards.
“We are putting in every effort to keep the wards clean. The leaves of municipal workers have been cancelled,” said civic chairman Krishnmendu Narayan Choudhury.