33 die of mosquito-borne diseases, fever in West Bengal

November 14th, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 14 (IANS) Mosquito-borne diseases and a type of fever whose cause has not been identified have claimed at least 33 lives in West Bengal since September, officials said Friday.”At least 25 people have died in Kolkata alone. Eight others have died in other parts of the state,” said Sanchita Bakshi, state director of health services.

In Kolkata, malaria claimed 10 lives, while six people died of dengue, and one each of Japanese encephalitis, meningo encephalitis and viral encephalitis. Six people died of a fever whose cause has not yet been identified.

“Eight died of chikungunya, dengue and Japanese encephalites in other parts of the state during this period,” said Bakshi.

She added that at least 300 people have been affected by mosquito-borne diseases across the state.

Javed Khan, a leader of the main opposition Trinamool Congress, alleged that the state government had not taken any initiative to contain the outbreak. He also accused the government of showing a low number of victims.

“They have failed to combat the diseases. Now they are trying to contain the damage to their image by giving out low figures of victims,” Khan said.

Debdwaipayan Chatterjee, chief municipal officer (health) of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), denied the charges and said the civic body was taking all necessary steps to control the disease.

“Our officers are regularly spraying bleaching powder and anti-mosquito oil across the city. We are continuously carrying out awareness campaigns to sensitise the people about the symptoms of these diseases,” he said.

“Also, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has started sending us weekly updates on the outbreak and victims so that we can work accordingly,” Chatterjee added.

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