With the demise of BTV cameraman Nagesh Padu on Sunday, the death toll from dengue in Karnatakaâ€™s Dakshina Kannada district has risen to four. Several authorities in the district are stepping up awareness measures to ensure that the spread of dengue is contained.
Four deaths have been reported since the start of July, including 2 children and a woman. The first victim to succumb to dengue was Veena Nayak, a resident of Kadaba taluk, who died in the first week of the month. On July 16, an 8-year-old boy, Krish N Suvarna was the next one to succumb to dengue. Two days later, 12-year-old Shradha Shetty too lost her life after having developed a reaction called â€˜Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis' or HLH reaction, which can be seen in severely aggravated cases of dengue. Nagesh and a team of four journalists had visited dengue-affected areas ten days ago to report on the outbreak. While Nagesh succumbed to dengue, the other three have developed fever.
HLH is a rare complication of dengue wherein specific cells of the immune system become too active and result in the onset of a number of related symptoms which may lead to death. Those presenting with HLH often have an enlarged spleen and liver, and possibly may present with multiorgan failure.
Around 400 cases of dengue have been recorded from the Dakshina Kannada district as of Friday, with more than half of the cases being reported from Mangaluru.
District health department officials have stated that the season, with its sporadic rainfall and little sunlight, has resulted in an environment that is suitable for the mosquitoes which are vectors for dengue. They have alerted the public to take precautionary measures such as using repellants, not leave stagnant water pooling around and to wear protective clothing.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by one of the five major serotypes (or strains) of the dengue virus. The virus is spread to humans via mosquito bites. Symptoms of the fever typically set in anywhere from three days to two weeks of being exposed to the virus.
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