Tripura has witnessed an alarming rise in the number of Dengue cases over the past month despite preventive measures being taken by the Health Department.
"Tripura recorded 127 Dengue cases in 2017, 100 cases in 2018, 109 cases in 2019 and the figure came down to only 24 in 2020. But, in the current year till Nov 10, the number of Dengue cases has increased to 255," State Surveillance Officer Dr. Deep Kumar Debbarma said at a press conference on Wednesday.
He said total of 1750 samples have been tested so far in the current year. Among them, 250 persons have been identified to be Dengue patients.
"Out of 255 persons, 46 samples have been confirmed at the State Referral Lab- Agartala Government Medical College. The remaining cases have been confirmed in Antigen kits", he told the media, adding that the high positivity rate of Dengue was a matter of concern.
Sharing details of the last four months, the State Surveillance Officer said a total of seven Dengue cases were recorded in August, 20 in September, 58 cases were confirmed in October and 161 cases till the afternoon of November 10.
He said that the positivity rate was 7.48 per cent in August and the figure got increased to almost 24.24 per cent in November. He, however, mentioned that more cases were being identified as there was a rise in the number of tests following the aggressive screening. The antigen kits are being used for the Dengue test this year for the first time.
Sharing details of the last four months, the State Surveillance Officer said a total of seven Dengue cases were recorded in August, 20 in September, 58 cases were confirmed in October and 161 cases till the afternoon of November 10."Out of 161 cases in November, 76 cases have been reported from Gomati district, 27 in Sepahijala district, one each from North and South Tripura districts and 56 cases in Unakoti district," the State Surveillance Officer said adding that Gomati and Unakoti districts had contributed almost 70 per cent of the total cases.
In Killa of Gomati district where a maximum number of cases are being reported, the majority of the Dengue-affected persons are workers of rubber plantations, he said.
"Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes spread Dengue and they are day biter. As per the preliminary assessment, the possible source of the dengue is mosquito bites from the rubber plantation," Dr Debbarma said after visiting some of the affected areas.
He appealed to the people to reduce the exposure area of mosquito bites (at least by wearing a full-sleeve shirt and full pants) to stay away from the risk of Dengue.
According to the concerned health officials, there is no need to panic, the situation is under control and the Health Department is closely monitoring the situation.
Director of Family Welfare and Preventive Medicine department- Dr Radha Debbarma said various measures including fogging were being taken through IEC activities to deal with the situation.
Head of Microbiology department, AGMC- Tapan Kumar Majumder, who also attended the press conference, said fever with body ache is one of the symptoms of Dengue. He appealed to the people to visit the nearest healthcare facility in case of any such symptoms.