Effective measures undertaken to control the disease: Surveillance officer
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed an alarming increase in dengue infections this year, with approximately 3,000 cases reported so far.
State Surveillance Officer, Dr Harjeet Rai informed about the concerning rise. He also said that there were three deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease.
Dr Rai advised the public to take “preemptive” measures in the absence of a dengue vaccine and called for proactive prevention to combat this painful ailment. He, however, assured that the authorities are implementing effective measures to control the spread.
Panic is unnecessary, but vigilance and preventive measures are crucial, he said.
According to Dr Harjeet, individuals who test positive for dengue should prioritise physical and mental rest, maintain proper hydration, and consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
He also addressed the rare instances of dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever, urging those experiencing symptoms such as bleeding from the nose or other body parts to seek immediate medical attention. Early detection and treatment are essential in such cases, he said.
Dr Rai outlined a comprehensive approach to dengue prevention, urging people to manage and modify environments to prevent mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats. This involves proper disposal of solid waste, removal of artificial water-holding containers, and regular cleaning and maintenance of domestic water storage units. He recommended the appropriate use of insecticides in outdoor water storage containers.
Highlighting the primary vector of dengue, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Dr Harjeet said that it has adapted to urban habitats and breeds primarily in man-made containers such as buckets, mud pots, discarded containers, used tires, and stormwater drains. These breeding sites should be regularly cleared and cleaned.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is most active during dusk and dawn, so people are advised to wear clothing that minimises skin exposure to these mosquitoes, he said.
Dr Rai reported that dengue testing labs are available in every district of Jammu division, with around 27,000 tests conducted this year so far, of which roughly 3,000 have yielded positive results.
Out of the 3,000 positive cases, 1,047 required hospitalisation, and 89 active patients are currently under treatment, excluding three fatalities in Udhampur, he informed.
The doctor informed about the helpline number 104 for assistance from 9 am to 6 pm daily. He said positive patients are provided counselling and guidance through the helpline.
In addition to dengue, approximately 80 cases of chikungunya, another mosquito-borne disease, have been reported this year.
Healthcare professionals recommend eliminating stagnant water that serves as mosquito breeding sites at home, schools, workplaces, and their surroundings to prevent dengue. They advise avoiding mosquito bites by covering the body and using mosquito nets when sleeping during the day, which should be sprayed with insect repellents.
Common symptoms of dengue, as described by doctors, include fever, headache, eye pain (typically behind the eyes), muscle, joint, or bone pain, rash, nausea, and vomiting.
According to officials, Jammu & Kashmir last year reported 8,269 dengue cases, the highest number on record, along with 18 fatalities. The figures for previous years were as follows: two cases in 2009, none in 2010, three in 2011, 16 in 2012, 1,837 in 2013, four in 2014, 153 in 2015, 79 in 2016, 488 in 2017, 214 in 2018, 439 in 2019, 53 in 2020, and 1,709 in 2021.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by FPK staff and is published from a syndicated feed from KNO.)