Mangaluru, June 08, 2019: After malaria, dengue fever is the most common disease in parts of Mangaluru. A random visit to 30 houses in Mahakali Padpu and Yemmekere revealed seven cases of dengue.
A recent visit by Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) staff found 30 new dengue cases in the area.
Activist Suresh Shetty, who has been spreading awareness about malaria and dengue in the area, regretted that many people were yet unaware of the precautions to be taken to avoid dengue (like preventing mosquito breeding).
Mangaluru’s people still believe that open drains are the source of malaria and dengue infections. But the dengue-spreading mosquito Aedes Aegypti breeds in freshwater.
“The primary breeding places are at home. Open drums and open wells,” said Shetty.
Whole families : Sahana, her husband Shivaprasad and their six-year-old child Aadya-- all residents of the area, tested positive for dengue a month ago. Suffering from low platelet count, Sahana was admitted to hospital for five days. The family spent Rs 30,000 on treatment.
In another family, Shalini, Jalajakshi and teenager Pratish tested positive for dengue in April. Jalajakshi, a senior citizen, was admitted to hospital for three days. Treatment cost them Rs 14,000.
Their neighbour Umavathi and her son Nirikshit tested positive for dengue and ended up shelling out Rs 35,000 for treatment.
Shetty said that early detection was important. “When communicable diseases are detected, the local authorities like the City Corporation must be alerted to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic.
“If neglected by the civic authorities, dengue will increase the same way Malaria did in 1991,” Shetty cautioned.
Malaria in Mangaluru : In 1990, Dakshina Kannada accounted for 0.3% of the malaria cases in the state. Today, 70% of malaria cases in Karnataka are reported in Mangaluru.
“This clearly shows that while rest of Karnataka was successful in containing malaria successfully; Mangaluru failed,” charges malaria expert Dr B Srinivas Kakkilaya.
Those showing symptoms of malarial fever may call the Mangaluru City Corporation Malaria Helpline (9448556872).