Telangana Dithers as Dengue Claims Fourth Life in Hyderabad in Ten Days

The state is witnessing a spike in dengue cases this year, with 2,113 cases being reported while there were only 1012 cases by this time last year.

A 35-year-old man has reportedly died of dengue in Hyderabad. This is the fourth suspected death from dengue in the city in the last ten days.

According to a report in the NewsMinute, the hospital declared that his death was caused by a dengue hemorrhagic fever shock syndrome but the state government has not yet counted it as a dengue death and is, so far, calling it only a suspected case of dengue death. The state government says a death audit will need to be done.

The 35-year-old, who was reportedly admitted to the hospital with a high fever on Monday, died by Tuesday. The others who died include a 13-year-old and a five-year-old. A committee that was constituted to audit the deaths of the two minors, concluded that they were not due to dengue.

Times of India reported that 530 cases of dengue have been observed in Telangana in the last 25 days. Hyderabad reported the bulk of them, with 372 cases.

The TOI report said that, of these cases, there had been at least 50 dengue deaths in the state so far. The state is witnessing a spike in dengue cases this year, with 2,113 cases being reported while there were only 1,012 cases by this time last year.

However. many reports claim the government is under-playing the figures. A doctor told News18 that the numbers for Hyderabad seemed low as the doctor’s hospital alone had recorded about 270 dengue cases in just the last three months.

Private hospitals are required to send their data to the government but government officials claim that at least 40% of them had failed to do so.

The Telangana government may announce the list of dengue deaths only by next year. The health minister has reportedly said: “The reason for all the deaths recorded in the hospitals will be analysed to check whether they were caused by viral fever, dengue or influenza and then it will be cross-checked by an expert committee before an announcement can be made. We can only make an announcement after the entire process gets concluded next year.”

Also read: Hyderabad: Spike in Dengue Cases Causes Alarm, Several Deaths Reported

The Telangana government has insisted that the testing and diagnostics for dengue are done with the IgM-Elisa test and not the NS1 rapid test which is considered less accurate. The state considers a death to have been caused by dengue only if the patient was tested with IgM-Elisa.

Government officials have also been told to undertake regular fogging and spraying to kill mosquitos which are the vectors for the dengue virus. Some residents report that the bulk of such preventive measures are being implemented too late.