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Monsoon 2020: Kerala Can Face a Very Big Problem Due to Rise in Dengue Cases; Experts Worry

Vivek Verma
Vivek Verma

Kerala has set an example for all other Indian states on how to fight Coronavirus with high spirit and an efficient & responsive healthcare system. Although since the first week of May, when people started to return to Kerala from other states and other countries, COVID cases are on the rise in the state.

The Arrival of Southwest Monsoon & Problem of Dengue

With the arrival of monsoon, Kerala is facing another major problem of rise in dengue cases all over the state. Dengue has a high mortality rate, unless it is detected early. The rise in dengue cases is a threat to health machinery, which is already under stress in Kerala due to battling with Coronavirus in last few months. The viral disease of Dengue is transmitted by Aedes mosquito. Over 5500 cases and 3 deaths have already been reported this year. The cases will further rise by July when the monsoon will take hold.

Experts are already nervous about this year and dengue. The reason is that the dengue cases rise every 3 years according to previous patterns of dengue outbreak. With over 19000 cases the last outbreak was reported in 2017. This year, there are chances that we see similar or greater outbreak numbers.

Before the arrival of monsoon, every year Kerala and its health care workers undertake some steps to make people aware about the risk of viral & communicable diseases like dengue, H1N1 etc. The well-oiled & decentralized health care system of Kerala every year make sure about people’s safety by house-to-house visits for stagnant water, removal of waste, elimination of mosquito breeding grounds. These steps helped Kerala to break the chain of transmission of Dengue and thus reduce mortality rate.

This year however the main focus is on COVID-19 & it has been since few months. The Health Department is really strained for resources in performing pre-monsoon cleaning activities for Dengue.

Ground workers like Health care inspectors and ASHA’s have given instructions in April to conduct vector surveys and collect data for breeding grounds of mosquitoes to shortlist the areas which are prone to outbreak. For both a close interaction with public is required.

This is where the Coronavirus situation worsen the matters. Since many families are in quarantine and due to lockdown also, there are restrictions on health workers to access households and check for stagnant water.

Some Good News:

In urban areas where the cases of dengue are reported every year, officials found a way of including resident welfare associations in cleaning activities and awareness.

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