Patna civil surgeon Dr Raj Kishore Chaudhary tells TOI’s Sheezan Nezami that the health department has taken all possible measures to contain dengue in the state capital and people should also take precautions to prevent the mosquito-borne disease. Excerpts:
There has been five-time rise in number of dengue cases in October this year when compared to the same period last year. What do you think is the reason for such steep rise in dengue cases?
First of all, people did not bother to remove water accumulated in the pots and vessels in their houses after three days of heavy rainfall in the last week of September. Since the focus of the people living in waterlogged areas was on managing food and drinking water, they forgot that mosquitoes were breeding in their houses. This I think is the main reason for increase in dengue cases this year
What steps have been taken by the health department and the civil surgeon’s office to prevent spread of dengue?
We had launched an anti-dengue awareness programme two months before the onset of monsoon. People were informed through public address system the ways to control spread of Aedes mosquitoes, which cause dengue. Our teams are spraying larvicide in coordination with local ward councillors in all the 75 wards of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) as well as the 10 wards of Danapur Nagar Parishad. Synthetic parathyroid is also being sprayed in all houses from where dengue positive cases were reported. We have also distributed 500gm mixture of lime and bleaching powder and 20 chlorine tablets to all houses which were waterlogged
What about dengue test facilities for people?
We have provided rapid kits for dengue test to all 22 urban primary health centres (PHCs). In case a blood sample is tested positive for dengue, it is sent for ELISA test to any of the three institutes – Patna Medical College and Hospital, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital and Rajendra Memorial Research Institute
Where should the dengue-affected people go for treatment?
People can avail the treatment in any government hospital
Is the stock of platelets sufficient in Patna to meet the daily requirement?
Yes, we have sufficient platelets with us. Blood donation camps are also being organised at Patna Medical College and Hospital and other health establishments for collection of blood
Platelets have shelf life of just five days. How do you ensure that there is no wastage of platelets?
We collect blood samples and take out platelets as per the requirement. Since blood has shelf life of around two months, we only take out platelets when needed
Dengue menace has frightened everyone. What is your message for people?
People should take precautions because this is the only way to prevent dengue. They should keep their houses and surroundings clean. Dengue is a self-curing disease and one should not panic if diagnosed with the disease. In case of fever and other symptoms, like body ache and weakness, people should go for the test. It is advisable to take Paracetamol to control body temperature instead of Aspirin or Ibuprofen
Has there been any dengue death in Patna?
No. None has so far died of dengue in the district
What about deaths of a young girl at a private hospital in Pataliputra and a lawyer at another private hospital in Raja Bazaar?
These private hospitals have not yet confirmed the reason for the death of the girl and the lawyer.