Bengal increases dengue testing units

The number of state-run dengue testing centres has been increased by six times in West Bengal where two people have died this year due to the fever, an official said on Tuesday.

With testing centres set up in each district, the strength of such diagnostic units has gone up from three to 20.

'Now every district has a testing centre and their number has gone up to 20. The urban local health bodies have been adequately funded and briefed on tackling dengue,' B.R. Satpathi, director of health services, told IANS.

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According to Satpathi, an official dengue alert was sounded before the monsoon and in the follow-up the situation was being closely monitored. Dengue has been affecting other parts of the country like Delhi, which has seen 226 cases this year as compared to just 13 in 2012.

What is dengue?

It is a tropical disease, usually transmitted by mosquitoes and the common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains and skin rash. There is no vaccine for dengue and the only way to reduce infections is to improve hygiene levels so as to prevent mosquito-bites and prevent mosquitoes from breeding. It s particularly difficult to create a vaccine because it s caused by different viruses and there are no animal models available for testing. The disease kills over five thousand Indians every year and is a seasonal threat, particularly during the monsoon seasons.

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With inputs from IANS

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