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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dengue scare in Delhi

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Read about Dengue on :
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website
WHO website
While I was enjoying the extended weekend in the pleasant climate of Dehradun, the tentacles of Dengue have spread to epidemic proportion in Delhi. With 11 deaths and 247 confirmed cases reported in Delhi till October 3rd, the Delhi Govt. is considering declaring it as an epidemic outbreak. Dengue is not new to Delhi, but this time the Dengue has been reported not only from places around Delhi but also from far away places like Lucknow.

Dengue [pronounced Den-ghee] is a flue like illness found in most tropical areas around the world, often after monsoon. This is spread by biting of Aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue is common in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Australia, and the Americas. It is widespread in the Caribbean basin.

There are two forms of Dengue --- the Dengue fever and the Dengue hemorrhagic fever. While the first one relatively harmless, the second one may be fatal. Most dengue infections result in relatively mild illness, but some can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever. With dengue hemorrhagic fever, the blood vessels start to leak and cause bleeding from the nose, mouth, and gums. Bruising can be a sign of bleeding inside the body. Without prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing shock (dengue shock syndrome). Dengue hemorrhagic fever is fatal in about 5 percent of cases, mostly among children and young adults.
How does it feel to live in Delhi:
Honestly speaking, Dengue has not created panic here. Delhi had received more than twice rainfall this year as compared to the previous year. This has resulted in abnormal growth of mosquitoes, even in the locality I live. Fortunately, there has not been any Dengue case reported from this area. But we have taken pre-cautions to keep mosquitoes away. People living in slums and other low cost congested areas are at much higher risk as people there has very little civic sense. It was quite surprising to observe that one of the death reported this year was from the posh Vasant Vihar locality. Ironically, both the parents of the victim were doctors. Other such high profile fatality was ythe death of an MBBS student of the All India Instt. of Mediacl Science, which is the cradle of Indian medical education.

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