Dengue cases see marked rise in Karnataka, slight uptick in cases of chikungunya, AES

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Karnataka has recorded a 21 per cent rise in cases of dengue fever since last year, according to statistics shared by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP). As per the data, in 2021 the state recorded 7,393 cases of dengue and seven deaths, while this year (January-December 17) it recorded 8,972 cases and nine deaths.

State health commissioner Randeep D said they are creating awareness among people about dengue fever. “We tell people to clear stagnant water. Moreover, we have stepped up surveillance measures. Every tenth negative dengue sample is also tested for Zika virus. Sometimes a sample is negative for dengue but it may carry infection,” he added.

Significant fall in malaria cases

On a positive note, the state health department has been successful in bringing down malaria cases in the last six years. Compared to last year, Karnataka has brought the cases of malaria by 68 per cent this year.

In 2016, 10,607 cases of malaria were recorded and subsequent years saw 7,381, 5289, 3,499, 1,701, 913 and 271 (till December 17, 2022) cases. While two deaths happened due to malaria in 2021, this year no deaths have been reported.

Slight rise in chikungunya cases

There has been a 3.65 per cent increase in chikungunya cases in the state since last year. While last year there were 2,188 cases, this year (January-December 17) 2,108 cases have been recorded. In 2016 there were 1,528 cases of chikungunya. In 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 there were 3,511, 2,951, 3,994 and 1,326 cases, respectively.

Narrow uptick in cases of Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES)

The NVBDCP data also shows an uptick in acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) cases by a narrow margin of 4.85 per cent since last year. In 2021, there were 391 cases and six deaths, and this year 372 cases and zero deaths have been reported till December 17. However, from 2016-2020, the number of cases have gradually come down. In 2016 there were 406 cases, while in 2017 it was 332, 380 in 2018, 388 in 2019 and 346 in 2020.

Japanese encephalitis

Twenty-five cases of Japanese encephalitis have been reported in 2021 as well as in 2022 (till December 17) in Karnataka. Last year, two deaths were recorded due to this disease, while this year no deaths have been reported. Cases seen in previous years are as follows: 2016 (11), 2017 (23), 2018 (35), 2019 (33) and 2020 (19). Japanese encephalitis is caused by a virus called flavivirus and it is primarily transmitted by Culex mosquitoes.

On December 4, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar announced a special vaccination drive against Japanese encephalitis in schools, health institutions and anganwadi centres. “The Union Health Ministry will be supplying us with the Jenvac vaccine to conduct the drive. Under the Universal Immunization Programme in the state, Bellary, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapur, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mandya, Dharwad, Chitradurga and Davangere have been identified as the 10 endemic districts for this virus. In these districts, the Japanese encephalitis vaccine is given to children after they complete nine months and a second dose is given at the age of 1.5 years,” the minister had said earlier.



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