Bihar: Dengue Cases on Rise in Patna and Bhagalpur
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Patna: Fear of dengue, a mosquito–borne viral infection, is haunting thousands, including poor and rich alike, in Bihar again due to the rising number of cases in recent days.
Dengue is spreading fast due to the failure of the anti-dengue drive, contrary to government officials' repeated claims.
Health department officials say Bhagalpur and Patna are worst affected by dengue. On Wednesday, 54 new patients tested positive for dengue fever in Bhagalpur, and 33 new cases were reported in Patna.
To date, more than 400 dengue cases have been reported in the state.
Considering this, the Bihar government has sounded a dengue alert and issued an advisory. The cases will likely increase in the next two to three weeks by the end of monsoon.
Officially, only two dengue deaths have been reported in Bhagalpur.
Many patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Bhagalpur, Patna and other districts. Officials said that Bhagalpur has emerged as the hot spot of dengue. Most cases have been reported there, followed by Patna and Munger.
Pratyaya Amrit, additional chief secretary of the health department, told the media that the department directed all medical colleges and hospitals to reserve 25 beds for dengue patients, keep adequate medicines for their treatment and provide platelets to serious and critical patients.
Similarly, 10 beds in sub-divisional hospitals and five beds in all the district hospitals should be reserved for dengue patients. The department further asked for the use of mosquito nets during the treatment.
Amrit said that there will be monitoring of dengue cases daily at the headquarters here to ensure control of the situation.
Despite Amrit's instructions to concerned officials in urban bodies and civil surgeons in districts to speed up the drive against dengue by cleanliness and the spraying of DDT powder, anti-larvae chemicals and the fogging of malathion mix to control the spread of dengue in residential localities, residents in Patna complained that drive is underway on paper only.
"I live in Jai Hind colony in Phulwarisharif locality in Patna. There has been no drive against dengue. I have not come across fogging machines. The government officials have no concern," Sunil Kumar, a resident, said.
Similarly, Birendar Singh, a resident of Kankarbagh in Patna, said he fears a dengue outbreak due to waterlogging in nearby areas and no spraying of bleaching or anything to contain dengue spread.
"Fogging and spraying are being done only for namesake despite the rising number of dengue cases."
Patna Civil Surgeon Sharvan Kumar told NewsClick that common people should actively support preventing the breeding of mosquitoes that cause dengue.
"The government is doing everything to stop the spread of dengue. But people should remember not to allow water accumulation on rooftops, terraces or inside houses in earthen pots, old tyres and other sources of water bodies as they facilitate the breeding of mosquitoes."
Parents are sending their children to school with full-sleeved clothes; the police headquarters have also asked their personnel to wear full-sleeved uniforms.
Local dailies reported that the demand for mosquito nets and repellents had increased. Apart from this, the demand for goat milk and papaya leaves- perceived as useful locally- has also increased.
Earlier this week, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed the health department to be on alert and take all measures to contain dengue after he visited Patna District Magistrate Chandrasekhar Singh, who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital after being infected with dengue. Singh was admitted to the hospital after his platelet count fell below 15,000.
Kumar directed officials to ensure a sufficient stock of platelets and regular anti-dengue fogging and maintain cleanliness in all areas of the affected districts.
Health officials said that waterlogging helps spread these vector-borne diseases by enabling mosquito breeding.
Last year (2022), Bihar reported more than 9000 cases of dengue; officially, it was the highest number in the last decade. Before that, the state recorded more than 6,000 dengue cases in 2019.
In 2021, Bihar reported 633 dengue cases; in 2020, the number of cases was 493.
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