UP Feels Dengue Sting with over 9,000 Cases Reported, Deadly DEN-2 Strain Predominant

If you are suffering from frequent headaches, muscle or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and high fever, do not be complacent. That’s because cases of dengue are on the rise in Uttar Pradesh. Over 9,000 cases have been recorded this season and the count is going up. The UP government has launched a drive to combat the dengue menace and adopted several other measures, but the efforts are yet to bring change to the grim scenario.

Many of the patients have tested positive for the DEN-2 variant—one of the fast-multiplying strains of dengue. Recently, officials sent over 40 samples from the Gautam Buddh Nagar for genome sequencing and all tested positive for DEN-2.

UP has witnessed at least 8 deaths and more than 9,000 cases of dengue this season. With more than 690 cases reported, Gautam Buddh Nagar (GBN) tops the list of districts where the spread of dengue is alarmingly high. So far GBN has recorded 699 cases of dengue, which is higher than any other district in the state, a health department official told News18.

“Recently we sent around 45 cases from GBN for genome sequencing and surprisingly all tested positive for DEN-2 strain. In total, around 250 samples from different districts of UP were sent for genome sequencing out of which around 150 tested positive for DEN-2 strain. We are sending more samples in order to ascertain the strain of the dengue which will help in planning medication accordingly,” said a senior health officer.

GBN is followed by Ghaziabad, which stood in second place when it comes to the number of dengue cases, at 690. As per the data from the health department, the district recorded 901 cases in 2022, a total of 1,238 cases in 2021, and 88 cases in 2019.

With around 650 dengue cases reported, and one death, Lucknow stood third, confirmed Ritu Srivastava, district malaria officer, health department, UP.

Officials with the health department said that the posh areas of the state capital are the worst affected, and strangely, in the densely populated parts, the effect of dengue is comparatively less.

As per the data from the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control, ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India, in the year 2022, UP witnessed around 19,821 cases and at least 33 deaths. In 2021, UP witnessed 29,750 cases and 29 deaths. And in 2020, the state recorded 3,715 cases and 5 deaths.

Dr Deepa Tyagi, director general in the health department of UP, told News18 that the team of doctors works round the clock to combat dengue. “Since dengue generally attains its peak in the months of September and October, we have taken several measures to combat it. One of the biggest initiatives is that we have created a control room and have linked all the hospitals to it, making them all live through the CCTV cameras. Personally, I am monitoring all the hospitals and from here we can check each and every hospital in the state and ensure that the hospitals are equipped with all basic facilities and are attending to the patients well. We are checking if the state’s hospitals are equipped with beds or not, if the staff is attending to the patients or not, or if there are adequate numbers of beds available or not. This is all we can monitor directly,” she said.

Dr Tyagi also said that they have increased surveillance, launched a unified portal, and distributed the password to all the pathology labs in order to ensure real-time monitoring of the dengue figures. In any case reported, the CMOs of different districts may take necessary measures to keep a check on the dengue outbreak in their respective areas.

“Other than this, we have also increased the number of blood collection counters at the OPDs, have laid down the admission criterion, have introduced active management of beds, and have deputed counsellors to counsel suspected dengue patients,” she added.

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