Thursday November 14, 2019

Delhi goat milk sellers cash in over dengue scare

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New Delhi: Can papaya plant leaves and goat milk cure dengue? There is no scientific answer to this, but the sales of both have increased phenomenally in the capital as the mosquito-borne disease saw a growth spurt.

Delhi’s civic bodies have so far confirmed only five dengue deaths in the national capital and the number of cases as 1,872. However, independent inquiries by IANS have confirmed 18 deaths till Thursday evening in the city.

Since there is no specific vaccine or drug to prevent dengue, people are looking for alternative or natural home remedies to control the dangerous disease.

“It is mentioned in our books that goat milk helps in recovering fast from dengue fever as the milk is light and easy to digest,” Ayurveda practitioner Dr Aftab Ahmad told IANS.

“There is no mention that the goat’s milk increases platelet count,” he, however, added.

Following suggestions by traditional healers that goat milk may be beneficial to people infected with dengue, its price in the capital has reportedly soared to Rs 2,000 per litre from Rs 800 a litre a few days back, while a dry, shrivelled blade of papaya leaf is available for Rs 500.

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Goat breeders Jai Kishan and Nadeem Gowhar from south Delhi’s Hauz Rani area said there was a huge demand for goat milk.

“Goat milk is being sold at Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 per litre in Malviya Nagar and adjoining areas,” Kishan said.

“We have over 60 goats, but many of them are in the calving stage. Currently, only 3-4 litres of milk is available with us,” he said. “The demand is so high that people have to wait for days to get a glass of goat milk.”

Kishan said the normal price for goat milk is about Rs 35-40 per litre.

On patients suffering from dengue and asking for goat milk, Gowhar said: “We don’t charge for the milk and don’t provide one person more than 400 ml. People often return with gifts to our home after recovering from dengue.”

However, allopathic doctors are not very impressed with the efficacy of goat milk for treating dengue.

“We don’t recommend it (goat milk) for dengue treatment as no major study has been done on this,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Hospital.

As far as papaya is concerned, it is believed that the juice of papaya leaves can be an alternative treatment for dengue.

“The juice of crushed papaya leaves can prove to be helpful during treatment for dengue,” Dr Shobha Mathur, a nutritionist based in Gurgaon, told IANS.

“Neem, fresh coriander leaves and tulsi can also be taken in the form of tonic to reduce the dengue fever,” Mathur added.

Mathur advises: Drink as much water as possible to keep the body hydrated and to replace the fluid loss. This will also bring down the body temperature while easing symptom like headaches and muscle cramps.

Meanwhile, yoga guru Baba Ramdev told a press conference on Thursday: “Many people have died in the country because of dengue. Central and the state governments both have failed.”

He stressed that instead of running from pillars to posts for admitting their kin in the hospitals, people should take the help of Ayurveda and herbal medicines like aloe vera, pomegranate and papaya juice.

However, doctors say they do not recommend these methods as there is no scientific evidence or research supporting the argument.

“There is no harm in having goat milk, papaya etc but it should not be considered as a mode of treatment for dengue. There is no study which favours the claims,” said Dr OP Sharma, general practitioner with Akash Hospital.

(by Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulfi, IANS)

Next Story

Philippines Bans World’s First Dengue Vaccine

Manila banned the sale, import and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine in February following the deaths

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Philippines, Ban, Dengue
FILE - Parents of children injected with Dengvaxia vaccine carry pictures of their loved ones as they attend a senate hearing regarding the vaccine at the Senate building in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The Philippines stood firm Tuesday on its ban on the world’s first dengue vaccine while declaring a nationwide epidemic from the mosquito-borne disease that it said has killed hundreds this year.

Dengue incidence shot up 98% from a year earlier to 146,062 cases from January 1 to July 20, causing 662 deaths, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference in which he announced a “national dengue epidemic.”

Manila banned the sale, import and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine in February following the deaths of several dozen children who were among more than 700,000 people given shots in 2016 and 2017 in a government immunization campaign.

Duque said Thursday the government is studying an appeal to allow French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi to put the vaccine back in the Philippine market, but ruled out using the drug to combat the ongoing epidemic, which has hit small children hard.

Philippines, Ban, Dengue
The Philippines stood firm Tuesday on its ban on the world’s first dengue vaccine while declaring a nationwide epidemic from the mosquito-borne disease. Pixabay

“This vaccine does not squarely address the most vulnerable group which is the 5-9 years of age,” Duque said.

The vaccine, now licensed in 20 countries according to the World Health Organization, is approved for use for those aged nine and older.

Duque said the United Nations agency also advised Manila that the vaccine was “not recommended” as a response to an outbreak, and it was anyway “not cost-effective” with one dose costing a thousand pesos (about $20).

Dengue, or hemorrhagic fever, is the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus and infects an estimated 390 million people in more than 120 countries each year — killing more than 25,000 of them, according to the WHO.

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The Philippines in 2016 became the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass immunization program.

But controversy arose after Sanofi disclosed a year later that it could worsen symptoms for people not previously infected by the dengue virus.

The disclosure sparked a nationwide panic, with some parents alleging the vaccine killed their children.

Philippines, Ban, Dengue
Dengue incidence shot up 98% from a year earlier to 146,062 cases from January 1 to July 20, causing 662 deaths, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference. Pixabay

The controversy also triggered a vaccine scare that the government said was a factor behind measles outbreaks that the UN Children’s Fund said have killed more than 200 people this year.

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Duque on Tuesday called on other government agencies, schools, offices and communities get out of offices, homes and schools every afternoon to take part in efforts to “search and destroy mosquito breeding sites”. (VOA)