Sunday April 21, 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

1bn People Could be Exposed to Dengue, Zika by 2080

Dengue is the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease across the world today, causing nearly 400 million infections every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

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

Global warming could expose as many as a billion people to mosquito-borne diseases including dengue and Zika by 2080, says a new study that examined temperature changes on a monthly basis worldwide.

The study found that with the rise in temperature, dengue is expected to have a year-round transmission in the tropics and seasonal risks almost everywhere else. A greater intensity of infections is also predicted.

To understand, researchers from Georgetown University in the US looked at temperatures month by month to project the risks through 2050 and 2080.

While almost all of the world’s population could be exposed at some point in the next 50 years, places like Europe, North America, and high elevations in the tropics that used to be too cold for the viruses will face new diseases like dengue.

On the other hand, in areas with the worst climate increase, including west Africa and southeast Asia, serious reductions are expected for the Aedes albopictus mosquito, most noticeably in southeast Asia and west Africa, revealed the study, published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Dengue vaccine.
A Manila Health officer shows off a pair of vials of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia after being recalled from local government health centers Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The World Health Organization says the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in “a much safer way,” meaning that the shot should mostly be given to people who have previously been infected with the disease. VOA

Both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes can carry dengue, chikunguyna and Zika viruses, as well as at least a dozen other emerging diseases.

“Climate change is the largest and most comprehensive threat to global health security,” said Colin J. Carlson, postdoctoral candidate in Georgetown University in the US.

“The risk of disease transmission is a serious problem, even over the next few decades,” Carlson added.

Also Read- Researchers Probing if Tobacco’s Native Forms Less Harmful

Dengue is the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease across the world today, causing nearly 400 million infections every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The 2018 data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) and National Health Profile showed that cases of dengue increased 300 per cent — from less than 60,000 cases in 2009, it increased to 188,401 in 2017. (IANS)