Ensure ZERO Dengue Related Deaths in Kerala From 2018!

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A common problem or threat in our society remains alien to us until it affects one of our very own loved ones. 

Today, I write this petition from such a situation. 

I am speaking of the DENGUE FEVER threat in Kerala-India, which has been prevalent for over a decade, noticeably.  But over the past few years its outbreak has become beyond control, with the last year, 2017, being the worst, in the state's history.  Official records state that over 200 deaths were recorded till October 2017, which means unofficially the number would be multi-fold.  An official release suggests confirmed dengue cases of 20000 in 2017, which is almost 3 times more than what was reported in 2016, in the same period.  So now we get an idea of how evolved the virus gets year after year. 

Reports suggests that the time period which is required by the carrier ie. the mosquito to turn infectious with the dengue virus after having a blood meal with virus, which is called Extrinsic Incubation Period(EIP) is the lowest in Kerala in India, which means that the humidity and the temperature(17 degrees to 27 degrees) in our state is ideal for the quick spread of the disease.

Until recently, dengue was limited to the depletion of blood platelet count, which could be substituted by the adequate supply of blood plasma and is expected to regain normalcy in a couple of weeks, if treated properly.  But now there seems to be a deviation from normally observed effects of dengue.  It is becoming more common that the virus is affecting the vital organs of our body, mainly liver and brain, with the effects on the brain being fatal.

Once it affects the brain, the condition is called Dengue Shock Syndrome which involves the overall swelling of brain with fluid, which is fatal.  Here the problem is that the body shows only normal fever symptoms until the last moment.  A drowsiness is the only symptom which suggests that the brain has been affected but by that time things would have been from bad to worse, beyond recovery.

I urge the concerned authorities not to wait until the last moment for the required precautions to be taken, which would as always end in a war of words between the politicians, which would prove ineffective.

Some of my earnest suggestions are:

1. Start massive cleaning process around the state, especially in urban areas well in advance maybe right away, so that the process could be repeated every month before and after monsoon.  Usually the outbreak is at the beginning of monsoon from June till September.  Make sure that the cleaning process is carried on every month regularly.

2. Shut down meat slaughterhouses, which dispose off meat waste in unscientific ways.  Such wastes make a good breeding space for the virus, which would make them stronger.

3. Let all hospitals, especially government hospitals, be equipped with infrastructure to check if the virus has affected any vital organs of the body, especially brain.

4. Let all the doctors be advised that the patients be mandatorily checked for any other symptoms, other than lower blood count, which could lead to affecting the vital organs like brain.  Let this be done for any fever case that arises during the Dengue Season.

5.  Issue an effective public awareness mechanism about the various symptoms of dengue to the unaware common man.

My advice to the common people is to take any fever that arises without any reason, seriously and visit a 'Hospital' immediately, so that the above mentioned symptoms could be detected without any time loss.

Hope this could be made heard to the concerned authorities well in advance.

Kindly note that we can do nothing to prevent a mosquito-bite, but what we do next is what matters!

NB: Kindly take this as a first hand account of someone who has seen and known the situation up close.