Health minister reviews dengue outbreak, calls for proactive measures

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday to review the dengue outbreak and public health preparedness. Nadda urged states with high dengue cases to take proactive measures to control the disease. Bengaluru, one of the worst affected city’s in India, has reported 2,118 cases and 1 death since January.

Following a briefing on the nationwide dengue situation and preparedness, Nadda also directed officials to enhance prevention, containment and management efforts against dengue.

Dengue cases

India has reported over 19,447 dengue cases and 16 deaths so far in 2024, according to the National Centre for Vector Borne Disease Control (NCVBDC). According to the health ministry, dengue case fatality rate has decreased from 3.3% in 1996 to 0.1% in 2024.

The dengue virus has four strains: DENV-1 causing classic dengue fever, DENV-2 leads to hemorrhagic fever with shock, DENV-3 results in fever without shock, and for DENV-4 patients experience fever with or without shock.

Inter-ministerial collaboration

Nadda emphasised the need for inter-ministerial collaboration, involving the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA), ministry of rural development (MoRD), education ministry, municipal corporations, and local governments, to clarify their roles in dengue prevention and control.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is collaborating with domestic pharmaceutical companies to develop a dengue vaccine.

India is also experiencing a zika virus outbreak in some states, with Aedes mosquitoes being vectors for both zika and dengue viruses. Maharashtra has reported eight zika cases: six in Pune, one in Kolhapur, and one in Sangamner.

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