Even as reports which emerged around mid-November indicated that the number of dengue fever cases being seen in the state of Tamil Nadu were decreasing, two people from Tirupur succumbed to fever on Friday. Doctors and officials have yet to ascertain whether the deceased had tested positive for dengue. Furthermore, a total of nine positive dengue cases have been reported from Thiruvarur district in the state.
“The two individuals who were admitted to the government hospital in Tirupur succumbed yesterday evening. They had both been brought in earlier in the week with high fever and were being treated symptomatically. Lab investigations had been sent, but reports have yet to return so at this time we cannot say whether the deaths were due to dengue,” Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr K Kolandasamy told TNM.
Meanwhile there have been nine cases of dengue confirmed from Thiruvarur district.
“Four people have been admitted to Mannarkudi Government Hospital and another five have been admitted to the Government Thiruvarur Medical College and Hospital. They had all been admitted over a course of about two weeks with similar complaints of high fever with joint pains that didn’t decrease with medication,” stated a Thiruvarur district health official.
Earlier in November, Joint Director of Vector-Borne Disease Control Department Dr Krishnaraj had stated that there was a decline in the number of cases of dengue being seen in the state. He also reiterated what the state health minister had earlier said about seeing an increase in the number of dengue cases following the rains, saying that it was not an “alarming” rise.
Dengue virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. There are five different strains of the virus, each of which undergoes frequent adaptation as a result of which it has been difficult for scientists to find an effective vaccine against the virus. There is no known cure for dengue fever since most of the cases tended to be self-limiting, however supportive measures to control any aggressive symptoms are often given.
The most common symptoms of dengue are high grade fever, joint pain, muscle pain and general fatigue.
Health officials from the state have been actively encouraging the public to take all necessary preventive measures and have been raising awareness about measures to control mosquito populations.
Keeping a clean and hygienic environment as well as preventing stagnation of water will help curb the mosquito population. In addition using personal protective measures such as mosquito nets, repellants, creams and coils will also help protect someone from mosquito bites which could potentially cause dengue.
In October, the state government informed the Madras High Court that a total of 38,069 cases and 96 deaths of dengue were recorded in the state since 2015. Of these, the most number of deaths were reported in 2017 — 63. The same year, 23,294 cases of dengue were reported the same year, according to The Hindu.
At least 3,400 cases of dengue had been reported by October, and the Health Department projected the same to go up to 4,500.
In 2018, Tamil Nadu saw a total of 4486 cases of dengue and 13 deaths.