Hospitals report high dengue cases, civic body says otherwise

August 21st, 2010 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) Despite the civic body’s claims of doing everything to curb the spread of dengue, the mosquito-borne disease is fast spreading in the capital. Figures from the city’s private hospitals show a wide gap between the official count and the actual number of dengue patients.
Till Saturday, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said that 365 dengue cases had been reported. However, the figures quoted by the capital’s private hospitals presents a vastly different picture.

Moolchand Hospital has reported 35 cases of dengue, while Max Healthcare says the total number of dengue patients is 224 at two of its branches. Apollo hospital has received 41 cases till now.

The MCD health officials have denied the figures quoted by the private hospitals.

MCD Medical Officer N.K. Yadav said: “We only take into account the cases tested for dengue using the Elisa test. Private hospitals generally don’t conduct this test as it is expensive, so we don’t take into account their cases.”

Yadav also stated that the administration was doing everything to curb dengue. “We are taking into account all measures to check the spread of dengue.”

Government hospitals and dispensaries too are reporting dengue cases. Safdarjung Hospital has received more than 30 cases, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital has received 45 cases, and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya hospital has received 25 cases. The Lady Hardinge Medical College has reported 11 cases of dengue.

The densely populated Jamia Nagar locality in southeast Delhi has been the most affected. According to an official of Holy Family Hospital, south Delhi, over a dozen dengue deaths have been reported from this area alone. An official of Maxfort Hospital said the hospital has reported 599 dengue cases.

If the figures are totalled, it works out to more than double of what the MCD is stating.

Speaking to IANS about the spread of dengue in Jamia Nagar, Delhi Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney said: “The narrow bylanes of the locality, with roads dug up, unauthorized construction and the open drainage in the area, have turned out to be a perfect ground for mosquito breeding, and rampant spread of dengue. It is impossible for corporation inspectors to look into each and every construction site. The responsibility should be taken by the owners as well.”

Deep Mathur, MCD spokesperson, said: “MCD officials have been working overtime with hand-held fogging machines to prevent further outbreak of dengue. Additional vehicle-mounted fogging machines were deployed in the area.”

He said the high number quoted by private hospitals could be because “private hospitals are not performing the mandatory IgM Capture Elisa test”.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. High fever for 4-5 days is usually accompanied by severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rashes. After the fever goes away, the platelet counts start dipping, which is the most dangerous phase of the disease.

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