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Dengue menace: Ajay Maken files PIL, slams AAP for not acting responsibly

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Congress leader Ajay Maken. Photo Credit: www.deccanchronicle.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed on Saturday by Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and MCDs of not acting responsibly to control the spread of dengue in the national capital.

Photo Credit: www.bhaskar.com
Photo Credit: www.bhaskar.com

In the PIL, Maken said the Delhi government failed to initiate awareness campaigns and a dengue outbreak alarm was raised only after fatal cases of dengue, which is otherwise not a life-threatening disease.

It said the Delhi government had allocated approximately Rs 81 crore towards “Malaria and Dengue Control Programs”. However, it has not bothered to release the funds to the MCDs and citing lack of funds as an ‘alibi’ for their gross failure in controlling dengue outbreak, the agencies have rendered the general public completely helpless.

“There is a lack of coordination and unpreparedness on behalf of the Delhi government, Central government and also the municipal authorities in Delhi in addressing and controlling the unprecedented outbreak of dengue and the deteriorating public health in the city,” said the plea.

It said all hospitals– private and public– should be directed to not refuse any patients on account of monetary conditions or any other reason and in any case of misconduct of the hospitals or refusal, heavy penalty must be imposed by the court.

The MCDs should be directed to urgently undertake special fumigation drives, sanitation drives, and anti-mosquito breeding drives in their respective areas, said the PIL, adding that the Central government should be directed to depute more doctors in the national capital from the Central pool (i.e. from other states).

The PIL is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.

(With inputs from IANS)

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20 Genes That Can Predict Severity of Dengue Identified

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said - but that's far on the horizon

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www.nbcmiami.com

Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have identified 20 genes that can predict an individual’s likelihood of developing a severe form of dengue fever with about 80 per cent accuracy.

The team from Standford University in the US, identified a gene-expression pattern that predicts which people infected with dengue — a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever and joint pain, among other symptoms — are at highest risk for developing a severe form of the illness.

Every year, between 200 million and 400 million people in tropical and subtropical regions of the world contract dengue fever, and about 500,000 of those cases are fatal.

For the most part, people with the disease recover after receiving some fluids and a few days’ rest, said Purvesh Khatri, Associate Professor at the varsity.

“But there’s a smaller subset of patients who get severe dengue, and right now we don’t know how to tell the difference,” Khatri said.

Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

Anywhere from 5 to 20 per cent of dengue cases will advance to severe.

Currently, to diagnose severe dengue the doctors wait to observe specific symptoms and results of laboratory tests that typically emerge in the late stages of the disease.

“These practices are not nearly sensitive or accurate enough, and some patients end up admitted to the hospital unnecessarily, while others are discharged prematurely,” said Shirit Einav, Associate Professor.

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The new set of genes, reported in the Cell Reports journal, can help identify predictive biomarkers that can help doctors reliably gauge the likelihood of severe dengue in patients who are newly symptomatic and use that information to provide more accurate care to help guide therapeutic clinical studies and, in the future, to guide treatment decisions.

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said – but that’s far on the horizon. (IANS)