Reality bites: 17 dead, 10,000 affected by dengue across Bengal, says Mamata

Kolkata: 17 people have died while around 10,000 people across the state have been affected by dengue, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state Assembly on Friday.

However, the mortality rate in the state which stands at 0.2 percent, is much lower than the accepted mortality rate standard of 1 percent set by the World Health Organisation in case of patients afflicted with the vector-borne disease.

North 24-Parganas, Nadia and Alipurduar are the three districts that have had the maximum number of dengue cases while the other states have had less number of such cases. North 24-Parganas have had 5,479 dengue cases which is more than half of the total number of people suffering from the disease. 13 of the dengue mortality cases have occurred in state hospitals, with 4 in private hospitals.

"We have witnessed a change in the character of the mosquitoes that have been found to be responsible for causing the disease. Aedis Albopictus mosquito bites are resulting in dengue rather than the Aedis Aegypti type that had contributed to dengue last year. These mosquitoes are mainly biting in the open and not within residences. It is often found that patients affected with dengue from this type of mosquito bite are suffering from multi-organ failure," Banerjee, who also holds the Health portfolio, said in response to a query from Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan at the state Assembly.

Banerjee also attributed dengue cases to people from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh coming to Bengal on a regular basis for work or for availing medical facilities. "Bangladesh has had over 50,000 dengue cases this year with Jessore and Khulna being the worst affected. Both these places share boundaries with North 24-Parganas and Nadia," she added.

Reiterating the series of measures taken up by her department to combat the disease, she maintained that three crore guppy fishes that feast on mosquito larvae have been released into waterbodies and bio larvicide is being spread to destroy such larvae. "The budget to combat dengue has gone up from Rs 240 crore last year to Rs 500 crore this year," Banerjee said.

Chandrima Bhattacharjee, minister of state for Health said that the number of dengue detection centres in the state has gone up from 43 last year to 60, while 1,84,218 patients have had blood tests for dengue detection in comparison to 1,26,404 last year.

"The sub-divisional and state general hospitals have been equipped with infrastructure for dengue treatment. The department has ensured that the blood banks do not suffer from dearth of platelet which is the most important component of dengue treatment," Bhattacharjee said.

The Chief Minister has also constituted a high power committee led by Chief Secretary Malay De to monitor the dengue situation in the state. 791 Gram Panchayats and 803 municipal areas have been earmarked as dengue prone and special measures have been undertaken in these areas.

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