18 June 2012

Dengue: It’s your baby, Citizen!

No, you are not safe.  No, no one is safe.  The mosquito will get you.  Dengue is not some ethnic, occupational, class or regional disease.  It can hit anyone irrespective of social distinction, political power, business acumen, popularity rating or achievement.  It has. 
The dengue carrying mosquito has a 3km feeding rage.   No one can cocoon him/herself in mosquito free environments forever.  You have to step out of your mosquito net sooner or later.  You have to go to school or to work.  You are exposed at home and at your work place, in your classroom and on the way to school. 
Children in almost all major schools, public and private, in and out of Colombo have fallen victim.  It is reported that 10 regions in the country are under risk.  Closes to 15,000 cases have been reported in the past 6 months alone.  As we write there are 291 children warded at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital diagnosed with ‘hemorrhaging fever’ of whom 22 are said to be ‘Dengue shock cases’.  The hospital has taken steps to reserve 9 extra wards for patients whose symptoms may indicate contraction of the disease. 

Experts have opined that Dengue has taken a ‘pandemic’ quality in the island given is geographical spread with a tendency to reach epidemic proportion during the monsoon periods.  The news isn’t getting better.  It is now said that the virus now produces a set of symptoms different to those associated with Dengue earlier.  A simple neck ache as well as headache, nausea and vomiting, excessive drowsiness and discomfort in bright sunlight are also signs that should worry, they say. 

It must be mentioned that relevant authorities as well as media, civil society organizations and schools have done their utmost to educate the public about how to prevent Dengue, who to be alert to Dengue-like symptoms and what should be done if symptoms persist.  There have been massive drives at all levels to eradicate mosquito-breeding sites and regulations have been developed and are being enforced to push a largely apathetic public to be more responsible and proactive for their own good.  Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff have risen to the challenge and have spared no pains to fight the disease and save patients, especially in government hospitals, against heavy odds. 
In the end, though, ridding the country of this menace will come down to whether or not we live the adage ‘one for all and all for one’ to the last letter of the sentiment.  One person erring is something we cannot afford.  This is therefore the time of the collective.  And it is the time of the individual.  The former cannot be demanded, but the latter is something that is possible. 

You are marked for death, Citizen!  What are you going to do about it? 
[First part of the Editorial, 'The Nation', June 17, 2012]


Ramzeen Azeez said...

"Homeopathy new ray of hope in dengue-hit districts" - this is in India. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-08-26/bhubaneswar/29930944_1_dengue-virus-medicines-homeopathy

Anonymous said...

Is it true that available mosquito eradication methods such as bacteria spraying are held back because of corporate interests or the interests of mosquito-product makers?

Shaik Ahamath said...

What seems conspicuously lacking is any research from our medical universities or the WHObesides eradicating the mosquito. If ours are not up to the mark, which I very much doubt as many of our locally produced scientists are employed in top positions in USA, UK etc. then we should fund the capable universities elsewhere such as Oxford, Cambridge etc. who already have an excellent track record, who might come up with some answers.

sajic said...

this is true. Malaria, which was a killer disease in this country 100 years ago, has been controlled effectively. The methods used were quite drastic, i think- pesticides and quinine; both had unfortunate side-effects, however. Perhaps there is a reluctance to use the same type of method. And the virus does seem to be mutating-vide, the symptoms of the disease.

Damith Diunugala said...

So, why authorities still not using those Cuban Bactria that attacks to Mosquito larva.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, does anyone know why the bacteria is not used - I thought that was almost done a couple of years ago, what happened?