Official records revealed that 2,039 people tested positive for dengue during the festive season between October 1 and October 27. This is the highest number of dengue cases reported in a month this year so far.
Besides the usual symptoms, some dengue-infected patients in the city are having prolonged period of fever and their platelet count is taking more than usual time to rise again, doctors have observed.
Scientists at Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) have confirmed that three types (strains) of dengue virus — DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-3 — are currently co-circulating in the city.
As far the virulence is concerned, DENV-2 and DNV-3 are associated more often with severe illness. DENV-1, on the other hand, causes mild illness. Climactic conditions with extended rain, along with the city’s dense population, have provided conducive grounds for the growth and spread of dengue virus, experts said.
“Dengue cases usually go down around Diwali, as mosquitoes cannot survive the chill in the air. But this year’s extended rain replaced the chill. The result was more dengue cases this year,” said public health expert Sanjeev Wavare, who’s also head of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) insect control department.
General physician Rajesh Gadia of KEM hospital said disease was seen to be mild in most cases in the city. “Though most of these patients had low platelet counts, they were easily manageable. Only a few had critical problems,” he said.
Cases of dengue are being seen in all parts of the city. “Hadapsar, BT Kawade road, Dhanakawadi , Bibvewadi, Sinhagad Road, Peth areas and Kothrud have remained the hotspots over the years,” Gadia said.
More than the city residents, patients in rural parts of Pune are being seen with severe dengue infection this year, experts said.
“Dengue virus type 2 has struck Baramati, Phalatan and Daund in Pune district. This year, we have seen a large number of critical cases from Junnar, Narayangaon, Shrigonda, Shirur and their adjoining villages. Most of them were referred to hospitals in Pune for higher treatment,” said Gadia, who has been monitoring the dengue fever cases in and around Pune for the last 20 years.
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