Awareness is the only key to prevent Dengue epidemic during Covid -19 pandemic

Pushpa Gujral Science City celebrated National Dengue Day by organizing webinar on “Strategies to prevent Dengue epidemic during Covid -19 pandemic ”. Around 200 students and teachers from all over Punjab participated through virtual mode. Dr. Kulbir Kaur, Director Principal, Punjab Institute of Medical Science, Jalandhar was key speaker at the occasion. She said that Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus transmitted by the bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquito. It occurs during the month of July to October, as condition were most suitable for breeding of mosquitoes. We are already in the grip of a second wave of covid pandemic which was putting immense pressure on our health care facilities and if we face another epidemic of dengue it would have devastating consequences and could lead to collapse of the health system, she added. Further, in early stages it was difficult to distinguish between dengue and covid 19 because of similarities in clinical symptoms and laboratory findings, therefore, early and correct diagnosis was very important, she cautioned.

Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General, Science City giving introductory remarks at the occasion said that around 1,50,000 cases of dengue fever are reported annually in our country and the risk of dengue has increased in recent years due to rapid urbanization and deficient water management including improper water storage practices in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, leading to proliferation of mosquito breeding sites.. She emphasized that prevention of dengue must be intensified through integrated and combined efforts from various sectors to control and prevent its transmission. The key options available with us are to create awareness amongst the masses, control larval habitats around homes, workplaces, dump sites as well as, use of insecticide spray to reduce human vector contacts.

Dr. Rajesh Grover Director, Science City present at the occasion said that the National Dengue Day celebrated every year on 16th May marks the need for preparedness before the transmission season of dengue begins in the country. He urged the participants to remove water from coolers and other small containers at least once in a week during Dengue season and stressed on the need to wear clothes covering arms and legs and use of mosquito nets/repellents while sleeping.

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