PMC to begin surveillance after suspected vector-borne cases


Following a rise in Zika cases and an expected increase in other vector-borne diseases, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to launch surveillance and prevention activities for vector-borne diseases.

Earlier, surveillance, prevention surveys and activities were conducted only after confirmed dengue cases were reported. (Representative photo)

Earlier, surveillance, prevention surveys and activities were conducted only after confirmed dengue cases were reported.

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PMC assistant health officer Dr Rajesh Dighe said the ward medical officers, medical officers and malaria surveillance inspectors (MSIs) have been directed to immediately start surveillance and containment activities in their respective areas, even if cases are suspected.

“This will help us identify and eliminate breeding sites and prevent further spread of the disease. Surveillance can also help identify cases and initiate treatment to prevent morbidity,” he said.

According to the PMC, all dengue patients testing positive in the NS-1 antigen test are considered suspected dengue patients. Patients testing positive for dengue in the ELISA-IgM test and ELISA-IgG test are considered confirmed dengue cases. This month alone, the PMC has reported 76 suspected cases of dengue virus.

Another PMC official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector of dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus infections. If this vector is eliminated during prevention activities, the risk of dengue and Zika virus infections can be prevented.”

Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman, Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter, welcomed the decision and emphasised the importance of surveillance and prevention activities from the citizens' perspective even for suspected dengue cases. “There has been a surge in dengue cases in Karnataka, with over 5,000 cases reported and Bengaluru city has reported over 1,200 dengue cases. The PMC claims that NS1 positive dengue cases are not confirmed cases,” he said.

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