Dengue to be made notifiable disease to prevent its spread
The district health department is planning to make dengue a notifiable disease and direct private doctors and hospitals to immediately notify health officials about patients with symptoms of dengue. Only communicable diseases recorded at public hospitals are taken into account on a case-by-case basis. For dengue cases -- suspected, detected or treated -- at private hospitals, the numbers are alerted on a weekly or monthly basis. Once implemented, doctors and hospitals will have to report every case of the mosquito-borne infection to the public health machinery so that prevention and containment measures can be initiated immediately to check its spread and prevent an outbreak situation. Upon learning suspected or detected cases, health department officials can immediately carry out preventive measures such as fogging, adding gambusia fish to water bodies or eliminate stagnating water, officials said.
“As there is no specific drug and commercially available vaccine, prevention is the only strategy. Therefore, early reporting of dengue cases is necessary for implementing preventive measures, before it spreads further in an epidemic proportion. Hence, modules for implementing the direction are being chalked out,” a senior health official said.