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Dengue Outbreak in India: Death Toll Rises to 87 in Tamil Nadu; Delhi, West Bengal and Puducherry Gravely Affected

New Delhi, Oct 13: As Tamil Nadu continues to reel under dengue crisis, four more deaths have been reported due to the dreaded disease in the state on Thursday, rising the toll to 87. The deceased included three girl children- residents of Salem and a teenage boy from Namakkal district.

Following the outbreak of dengue in the South Indian state, the Central government dispatched a medical team to Tamil Nadu to investigate the deadly disease in many of its districts, said Health Ministry officials. The move comes after TN Deputy Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him about the problem. According to officials at health ministry, Tamil Nadu has witnessed a spurt in dengue cases and the state government has been trying measures to control it. The officials also said the team will analyse the factors leading to the rise in dengue cases in the state.

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As part of efforts to control the spread of dengue, Tamil Nadu government will also undertake a 15-day cleanliness drive in the state and warned of action against owners whose unclean premises could lead to mass breeding of mosquitoes spreading the disease. (Also Read: Dengue Wreaks Havoc In Tamil Nadu, National Vector Control Programme Raps Government For Not Taking Effective Measures) The cleanliness drive will cover all parts of the state, with special focus on urban areas, an official release said. The drive will focus on cleaning areas which have the possibility of water stagnation.

Meanwhile in national capital Delhi, at least 680 fresh cases of dengue were reported in the city in the first week of October, taking the number of people affected by the vector-borne disease this season to 4,545, according to a report by civic authorities released. The number of malaria and chikungunya cases recorded in the city reportedly stood at 1,032 and 638 respectively, the report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which tabulates data for the entire city, said.

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Of the total 4,545 dengue cases, 2,152 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 2,152 Delhi cases, 345 were reported this month, the report said. Dengue has claimed one life in the city during the season so far.

According to the SDMC, mosquito breeding has been reported from 1,80,687 households in Delhi. All the three municipal corporations in the city have stepped up awareness drives, distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers announcing dos and don’ts for prevention. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the city has banned over-the-counter sale of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Brufen as their use may “pose a threat” to dengue and chikungunya patients.

In West Bengal, the disease had claimed 24 lives since January. Yesterday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had denied that there was a spike in dengue deaths in the state and had claimed that erroneous blood test reports issued by private laboratories were creating panic. At a high-level meeting, the chief minister directed senior officials to keep vigil on the situation in the districts and create awareness programmes for people in the urban areas of the state.

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In the Union Territory of Puducherry, 500 patients tested positive for dengue this month, the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services had said.

Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. The female anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.

(With inputs from agencies)

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