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Tag Archive for: dengue

Scientists create mosquitoes resistant to dengue virus

Scientists create mosquitoes resistant to dengue virus

Mosquitoes get infected when they feed on someone who has the disease. Then they pass dengue to healthy people by biting them.

Each year, dengue sickens about 96 million people worldwide. The virus kills more than 20,000 people, mostly children, the researchers said.

“If you can replace a natural population of dengue-transmitting mosquitoes with genetically modified ones that are resistant to virus, you can stop disease transmission. This is a first step toward that goal,” said study leader George Dimopoulos, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Hopkins.

The genetic modifications significantly increased the mosquitoes’ resistance to dengue. But the changes didn’t boost the mosquitoes’ defenses against Zika or chikungunya viruses.

“This finding, although disappointing, teaches us something about the mosquito’s immune system and how it deals with different viruses. It will guide us on how to make mosquitoes resistant to multiple types of viruses,” Dimopoulos said in a Hopkins news release.

He and his team said more research and testing is needed before these dengue-resistant mosquitoes are introduced into the wild, a process they said could take a decade or more.

Forty percent of the world’s population live in areas where they are at risk for dengue infection, the study authors said. The virus is most common in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific islands. But dengue infections have been increasing in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The research was published Jan. 12 in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Source: UPI

Dengue cases in Mumbai highest in 6 years

Dengue cases in Mumbai highest in 6 years

MUMBAI: The number of dengue cases recorded in the city this year has been the highest in the last six years. However, the good news is that fatalities have declined significantly over the last three years.

According to figures recently released by the state, Mumbai has recorded 1,088 cases so far this year and four confirmed deaths. The last time dengue cases had crossed the 1,000mark was in 2012. Within the state too, the highest number of cases were reported from the city. Dengue infected 6,376 people and claimed 26 lives in Maharashtra between January 1 and November 21this year. Doctors say the increase in incidence is a reason for concern as it can lead to longer hospital stays, lost manhours and bigger hospital expenses. “Dengue causes mortality in merely 1%-3% of cases. It is the morbidity that needs to be looked into closely,” said infectious disease consultant Dr Om Srivastava. He said that patients this ye ar had complained of pro blems in resuming their routine lives long after they had recovered from the mosquitoborne illness.

A senior physician from KEM Hospital in Parel too added that patients came to the hospital three months after recovering from the disease with complaints of lethargy . “In a few cases, the symptoms had persisted from six weeks to three months,” the doctor said. Srivastava added that many patients fail to follow the post-recovery regimen like drinking water and taking adequate rest which prolong their suffering.

Source: Times Of India

Cities account for 60% of state’s dengue casualties this year

Cities account for 60% of state’s dengue casualties this year

MUMBAI: Around 60% of dengue deaths in the state this year have been reported from urban areas. An analysis of the confirmed cases by the state’s health department also revealed that nearly two-thirds of the positive cases were from the urban areas.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad have reported nearly 70% of the 5,391 dengue cases this year. The state’s figures also show a 63% jump in dengue cases between January and October this year when compared with the corresponding period last year. Out of the 22 deaths this year, 13 have been reported from the urban areas.

Mumbai alone has reported nearly 1,000 cases and four confirmed cases. However, more than 10,000 people have been hospitalised during monsoon for suspected dengue or similar illnesses. Speaking to TOI, head of the directorate of health services Dr Satish Pawar said, “It is particularly worrying because only 40% of our population resides in the urban areas. But, we have found out that construction activities are not the sole reason for the growing incidence of dengue. In certain cases where dengue had become complicated, doctors have used aggressive treatment where it was not required. Some of these hospitals were in big cities”.

Pawar added that the state has drawn up uniform treatment protocols and even trained doctors but the indiscriminate use of platelets continues to be an issue. The BMC had, in an analysis last year, found out that the use of platelets rose by 14-15% during months when dengue peaked in the city. This year, however, the situation was much better. A civic official said the use of platelets during dengue was closely monitored. “This year, there was no unusual demand for platelets,” the official said.

Times of India

Dengue cases grew by 63% in Maharashtra this year

Dengue cases grew by 63% in Maharashtra this year

The number of dengue cases in Maharashtra rose 63% between January and October this year compared to the same period last year. The number of deaths have remained the same, with 22 deaths in the comparative periods for 2015 and 2016.

Dengue is transmitted by the aedes aegypti-species of mosquito and has become a major public concern in the past two months, doctors said. A total of 5,653 cases were reported by the state epidemiology department this year as compared to 3,461 cases last year, with cases coming from cities like Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Pune and Nashik, said Dr Kanchan Jagtap , joint director of health services of the state.

“Every year, there is an increase in the number of dengue cases post monsoon. Moreover, the increase in construction sites have created an ideal environment for mosquito breeding,” she said.

Although the number of dengue cases has gone up, not everyone who is infected with the virus develops complications, said doctors. “Say out of 100 people infected with dengue, only 10 show complications such as a drop in blood pressure, severe drop in n platelet counts, ”said Dr Pradeep Shah, physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

“Most of the patients who show complications are people who have had dengue in the past, young children, elderly and pregnant women. These are the vulnerable groups,” he said.

Doctors also said state data could be giving an incomplete picture of the dengue situation, because only those cases where the patient has tested positive for dengue infection using the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) method of testing are counted as confirmed. “We treat so many patients who have all symptoms of dengue infection, but their blood test reports for ELISA test are negative. These numbers are not accounted for in the state’s data,” said Dr Altaf Patel, director of medicine Jaslok Hospital.

October 2016

Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation

Number of cases 63 number of deaths 5

Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation

Number of cases 33 number of deaths 2

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation

Number of cases 941 number of deaths 2

Source : Hindustantimes.com

Dengue threat spirals out of hand as Kolkata’s platelet count drops

Dengue threat spirals out of hand as Kolkata’s platelet count drops

Kolkata: An acute platelet crisis has hit the city in the midst of a fresh dengue spurt, holding up treatment of patients in serious conditions. With blood donation camps dwindling in the festive period, supply of platelets has almost dried up. Consequently, all major blood banks are facing a crisis that isn’t going to ease till December.

Bhoruka Blood Bank, one of the prominent private banks in Kolkata, has been out of stock since Sunday. It isn’t expecting fresh supplies till next Sunday when donation camps are due. Life Care Bank, too, has no platelet but is helping dengue patients in case the latter’s kin donates blood. “We are getting the donated blood processed and giving out the platelet content. But the process is expensive and takes several hours,” said a spokesperson for the bank. While a unit of platelet sells for Rs 500, the processing charge could be as high as Rs 8000-10000.

At Ashok Blood Bank, stocks have been getting exhausted within hours of donation camps. They, too, have the facility to extract platelets from donated blood which takes around five hours. “For several weeks now, we have not been able to hold stocks for more than six hours,” said a representative.

Demand for platelets has gone up almost four times across city hospitals, forcing them to ration use. But planned camps and an organized system could help avert crises, felt Rupali Basu, CEO of Apollo Gleneagles Hospital where 17 have succumbed to dengue since July. “We insist on sticking to an exchange system for patients who need transfusion. Patients’ kin must donate blood. This has ensured that we never run out of stock,” said Basu. She added that blood banks needed to be more pro-active in organizing camps. “They can’t afford to rely on clubs and organizations alone. During festive periods, a crisis is invariably going to strike since camps will be fewer. A system needs to be evolved to tide over shortages like this,” she said.

At least two city hospitals said they were rationing platelet use, even though it may put patients’ lives to risk. Lion’s Blood Bank has been flooded with calls ever since it tied up with a club that will hold a camp on Thursday. “Mid-week supplies have been dwindling sharply, leaving patients’ families helpless. We have been able to organize the camp with a lot of difficulty. But the platelets are going to run out by Friday,” said an official.

TheTimesOfIndia

Indonesians now have access to world’s first Dengue Vaccine

Indonesians now have access to world’s first Dengue Vaccine

Each year an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur around the world, resulting in around 25,000 deaths annually worldwide. But those number may start to drop soon thanks to a new vaccine that has just been approved by the Indonesian government.

“The first dengue fever vaccine has been given the green light by the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency [BPOM] and is now available,” Cissy B. Kartasasmita, chairwoman of Immunization Task Force, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), said on Sunday as quoted by Tempo.

The vaccine, called Dengvaxia, has has been in development for 20 years by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur. Since it was launched last year, it has been approved for use in seven countries and Indonesia is the second country in Asia in which the vaccine passed regulatory inspection. It has also been approved for use in Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Philippines and Paraguay.
According to a press release from Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine has been tested through a clinical study program involving 40,000 children, adolescents and adults in 25 studies in 15 countries around the world. Efficacy analysis documented that the vaccine protects against 65.6% of symptomatic dengue disease caused by any of the four serotypes of the dengue virus in the study population from 9 – 16 years olds. In addition, the vaccines protection against severe dengue reached 93.2% and prevention of hospitalizations due to dengue reached 80.8%.

The important takeaway from that is that the vaccine has been proven to be most successful when applied to children 9-16 years old. It should also still be administered to those who have had dengue before, as there are actually four different strains of dengue and the vaccine protects against all of them.
Three doses of the virus need to be given in 6-month intervals and each dose currently costs Rp 900,000. Cissy said that the shots were not currently covered by the national healthcare program but that the plan was for them to eventually be incorporated into the government’s national immunization program.

Source: Coconut Jakarta

Here are some important facts about Dengue and Chikungunya

Here are some important facts about Dengue and Chikungunya

In a recent report, the MCD has confirmed as many as 2,711 dengue cases till October 8 as the situation remains critical.

New Delhi: Dengue and chikungunya have struck fear in Delhi so much that the health graph of the city has registered a steep rise in these cases of late.

In a recent report, the MCD has confirmed as many as 2,711 dengue cases till October 8 as the situation remains critical across the country.

With these vector-borne diseases, characterised by high fever and severe pain in the joints, taking their toll on our lives, experts have listed down some of the misconceptions about them that have been setting off false alarm bells around the country and undermining the efforts to curb and control these ailments.

1. Dengue and chikungunya mosquitoes breed in dirty water: This is the most common misconception associated with dengue and chikungunya. It is not just dirty water that mosquitoes can lay eggs in; clean water that has been stagnant for over five days can also often act as the best breeding ground for Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito. Discarded tyres and tubes, empty flower pots, water stored in drums and water collected under refrigerators after defrosting can all be potential breeding havens for mosquitoes.

2. Having dengue once means it will not occur again: There are four different types of dengue viruses namely DEN 1, 2, 3 and 4. Being affected by one of the four types offers no protection against other strains, which means much like common flu, dengue can be contracted multiple times by a patient over the course of his/her lifetime.

3. Antibiotics are needed to treat dengue and chikungunya: So far, there is no vaccine that can immunise human beings against these diseases but vaccine for dengue will be coming soon. Nearly 75 percent of dengue cases are curable just by properly dispensing oral fluids and providing proper care and treatment to patients. Only prevention and control of mosquitoes can ensure long-term protection against these diseases.

4. Low platelet count does not always mean dengue: People tend to associate low platelet count with dengue. While it is a good indicator to find out if a patient is suffering from dengue or not, a common cold and viral fever can also bring down your platelet count. There are several other viral infections which can result in a low platelet count; people diagnosed with blood-related diseases, anaemia, severe infections and immunological disorders are bound to have fewer platelets in their blood.

5. Using insecticide sprays is enough to kill mosquitoes: While sprays and fumigation can prove beneficial in curbing the mosquito population to a great extent, using only insecticides cannot ensure 100 percent safety against mosquitoes. The main reason for this is mosquitoes get killed but eggs and larvae don’t get killed. It is equally important to keep your surroundings clean and tidy. Vectors are born in stagnant water accumulated in coolers, air conditioners, pots, ornamental plants, fountains, water tanks, bird feeders, etc. Hence, it is important to maintain hygiene in and around the house, and not allow water to accumulate anywhere.

6. Chikungunya will lead to joint deformity: While symptoms of chikungunya include joint pain and muscle pain, and can closely mimic rheumatoid arthritis or other rheumatologic diseases, the vector-borne disease cannot deform your joints. Most patients recover fully but in some cases, the joint pains may persist for weeks or months.

Given the rapid rise in the number of reported cases of dengue and chikungunya, it is essential for every individual to contribute in the fight against these deadly diseases and to keep India healthy and illness-free. Accurate information, coupled with proper preventative measures, can play a major role in achieving this aim and ensure a tomorrow free from the threat of dengue and chikungunya.

Source: Deccan Chronicle News

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