Fear of dengue outbreak in waterlogged Patna

Patna:Fear of a dengue outbreak is looming large in waterlogged Patna with 640 patients being tested positive mostly in the last four days according to official data.

Unofficially, however, the number of dengue patients may be as high as 800.

According to health officials, dengue is spreading fast in the worst waterlogged residential localities in Patna.

What worries health officials is the stagnant, stinking water that still remains a problem in the bposh residential localities of Rajendra Nagar, Patliputra and Gola Road following so many days of heavy rain. Many areas, however, are now free of waterlogging.

Bihar Health Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar has, however, ruled out a dengue outbreak in the state capital.

“There is no indication of an outbreak of a vector-borne disease in Patna as per the views of experts”, he said, admitting, however, that chances are high of an epidemic.

According to him, 24 teams are spraying ‘Temefos’ in Patna to kill mosquitoes.

Till now, 900 cases of dengue have been reported from across the state, including 640 cases in Patna alone.

The government-run Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) Deputy Superintendent Ranjit Kumar Jaimiar said the number of dengue patients is on the rise.

Patna Civil Surgeon R. K. Choudhary said that arrangements had been made to carry out dengue tests in all primary health centres in view of increasing number of cases.

In Patna, where thousands of people are still living in inundated areas even eight days after rains have stopped, fighting dengue has become a major challenge. It is more than a fear, as hundreds of waterlogged victims confined in their homes are reportedly suffering from mild to high fever.

Health officials said that waterlogging helps vector-borne diseases increase due to fast mosquito breeding.

What is disturbing is not only the spread of dengue waterlogged areas, but also reports of other illnesses like chikungunya, diarrhoea and stomach upset.

Patna District Magistrate Kumar Ravi said there is danger of the outbreak of epidemics due to filth, dumped garbage and stagnant water in many areas.

According to a senior health department official, measures are being taken to prevent the outbreak of diseases and teams of doctors will soon visit affected areas to provide medical treatment where required.

Till date, waterlogging in Patna and floods across the state have killed 73 people and over 20 lakh people have been affected.