COVID subsides but Dengue rises

Generally after the monsoon takes leave for the next year, chances of mosquitoes infecting people increase and the most complicated but generally curable Dengue fever engulfs the infected people. The people and the administration on the other hand have been anxiously longing for the much talked about ”imminent” third wave of the COVID pandemic not to visit Jammu and Kashmir and for that matter no part of the country. However sporadic cases of infections are reported but within two digits across the UT, Jammu showing the lowest. Hopes have built up that the third wave may never strike provided we all behave and act cautiously during the current season of festivals and marriage ceremonies so that virus infection does not take place and again not spreads menacingly. However, guard on the front of taking preventive measures against the Dengue – vector borne disease, has apparently got lowered as neither any steps towards awareness nor its prevention seem to have been taken by the Health Department. These are not merely our fears but an analysis of how could this frightening disease strike with such a lightning speed to claim two lives so far and 265 testing positive in Jammu region only. These figures pertaining to the last 20 days do not include those ones not reported at Government run hospitals or not reported at all indicating the number could unfortunately be more and likely to swell if drastic preventive measures were not taken.
Rain water at many places can still be in stagnant form in ditches , tires, flower pots and other forms of pockets which alone are the spots from where the Dengue causing mosquitoes sprout. Coolers usually have water not changed everyday and Dengue infecting mosquitoes usually like to breed in them. It, therefore, denotes that unless such pockets are free from such stagnant water and due fogging or mere spray of kerosene oil etc like measures are taken besides homes, workplaces and their vicinities are entirely free from stagnant water, the chances of dengue are unavoidable. Let the aim and ambition be to eliminate mosquito, Dengue carrying infection or otherwise, for a normal healthy life.
Vector borne diseases which the Dengue is, having struck more in peripheral areas of Jammu with fears of the cases to rise must be cause of concern to the administration , particularly the Health Department but the infected persons receiving treatment most of whom being discharged from hospitals with proper advice and medication reveals that the situation is, more or less, well under control. What matters is how the trend of infections behaves which depends largely upon preventive measures in not letting the blood feeding Aedes mosquitoes breed around the human dwellings. These mosquitoes usually bite during the day and reportedly do not fly heights. Unfortunate part of the matter is that no vaccine can protect one from the Dengue fever but avoiding the bite of the mosquito alone can. This type of awareness needs to be made by all concerned – right from the Health Department, the Municipalities, the media etc so that a preventive campaign gets generated.
Municipalities may claim having arranged fogging of certain areas once or twice but that is not sufficient as those areas need to be fogged which are low lying and where instances or chances of water accumulation could be more . In a way, it is nice that all schools are not yet opened as the prevalence of such cases in such institutions otherwise in normal course usually remains more. While guard against COVID related issues must in no case be lowered, at the same time Health Department authorities must devise policies and strategies to not only fight the disease and offer quality treatment to the infected persons but to ensure that preventive measures were taken in no less measure. A series of coordinated efforts between the concerned department is needed.