Tamil Nadu reported 2,008 dengue cases up to May this year while a total of 2,410 cases were reported in 2020. The tally has increased since January (402 cases) with a sharp jump in February reporting 618 cases and 684 cases in March. While the numbers declined and have remained below 100 for the past three months, health experts said that the surge in cases of vector-borne diseases might be reported post monsoon.
“Dengue cases need to be monitored since they are likely to spike after the rains. The co-infection along with COVID-19 can affect the reporting of cases and lead to outbreaks. The district outbreak reports should help in keeping a tab on the situation. People collecting water during rains has been one identified cause of dengue outbreak in the past,” said public health expert Dr K Kolandaisamy. The State reported 141 cases of Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome this year up to May, while five deaths were reported. In 2020, more than 300 cases and four deaths due to Encephalitis were reported in TN. “With the Encephalitis vaccine, we hope that there are fewer cases, but very often, they remain undiagnosed because of lack of awareness. Sometimes we lose patients because they are brought in late,” said a medico from government hospital.
A total of 78 cases of Chikungunya were also reported in the State up to May this year; 124 malaria cases were reported up to March. In 2020, there were 891 cases of malaria. “The cases have been on a decline and as a preparatory measure, Health Department personnel are actively working on checking mosquito breeding, source reduction in case of outbreaks,” said Dr T S Selvavinayagam, director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.