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Delhi touches new record with 10,683 dengue cases reported till October 10

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Health authorities said on Monday that with 10,683 dengue cases reported till October 10, Delhi recorded the highest number of patients of the viral disease in 19 years.

The last time dengue cases crossed the 10,000 mark was in 1996, when the city reported 10,252 patients, the authorities added.

The number of dengue cases reported from Delhi’s adjacent areas, suburban Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana, stood at 646.

According to the figures released by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, as many as 3,077 new cases were detected in the last one week.

Areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation witnessed the highest 2,432 cases while in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation areas witnessed the lowest  with 1,413 cases. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation recorded 2,307 cases in the last one week.

According to civic authorities, the official toll due to dengue in the national capital was 30, though the unofficial figure rose up to over 85.

Among the latest dengue victims confirmed by hospital authorities were a teenager and a 41-year-old man, who succumbed to the vector-borne disease on Sunday.

“The number of fever cases arriving at our hospital is more. The subject needs to be closely observed. In the middle of August, the number of cases went down but it is again rising,” AK Gadhpahilay, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, told reporters.

“As winter arrives, dengue cases will see a decline,” he hoped.

A senior emergency medicine expert at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said, “Dengue seems uncontrollable now. The number of cases witnessed this year clearly indicates that municipal authorities can’t just depend on fumigation and light initiatives to prevent dengue. This has become a regular problem in every monsoon season.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Dengue Vaccine Should Not Be Used Widely: UN Health Agency

UN Health Agency issued an important statement regarding the dengue vaccine

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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

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.

In November, the vaccine’s manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, said people who had never been sickened by dengue before were at risk of developing a more serious disease after getting the shot.

After a two-day meeting this week, WHO’s independent vaccines group said it now had proof the vaccine should only be used “exclusively or almost exclusively in people who have already been infected with dengue.”

Also Read: Anti-dengue Antibody Drug May Neutralize Zika Virus

The U.N. health agency said a test should be developed so doctors would be able to quickly tell if people had previously been sickened by dengue – but the group acknowledged doing that so isn’t straightforward.

“We see significant obstacles in using the vaccine this way, but we are confident this also spurs the development of a rapid diagnostic test,” said Dr. Joachim Hombach, executive secretary of WHO’s expert group, during a news conference Thursday.

Representational image for dengue vaccination
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Sanofi said last year that doctors should consider whether people might have been previously infected with dengue before deciding whether they should risk getting immunized. The company said it expected to take a 100 million euro ($118 million) loss based on that news.

People who catch dengue more than once can be at risk of a hemorrhagic version of the disease. The mosquito-spread virus is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates across Latin and South America, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It causes a flu-like disease that can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash. In severe cases, dengue can result in breathing problems, hemorrhaging and organ failure.

About half the world’s population is at risk of dengue; WHO estimates that about 96 million people are sickened by the viral infection every year.

Also Read: Dengue fever may increase risk of stroke: Study

Following Sanofi’s announcement last year, the Philippines halted its dengue immunization program, the world’s first national vaccination program for dengue. The government also demanded a refund of more than 3 billion pesos ($59 million) from Sanofi and is considering further legal action.

In February, the Philippines said the vaccine was potentially linked to the deaths of three people: all of them died of dengue despite having received the vaccine.

The country imposed a symbolic fine of $2,000 on Sanofi and suspended the vaccine’s approval, charging that the drugmaker broke rules on how the shot was registered and marketed.

More than 730,000 children aged 9 and above in the Philippines have received at least one dose of the dengue vaccine, usually delivered in three doses.

There is no specific treatment for dengue and there are no other licensed vaccines on the market.  VOA