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Aug 27
Govt on red alert as dengue count touches 550
With 54 people testing positive for dengue, the city witnessed the emergence of the highest number of fresh cases of the disease on Wednesday.

So far, 550 persons have been affected by dengue while one has succumbed to it. And with the threat of an epidemic looming large over the city and the Commonwealth Games slated to happen in October, the month when dengue would be at its peak, the civic agencies are finally starting to take some concrete steps towards preventing the situation from getting out of hand.

For one, the authorities are emphasising on public participation and exhorting the public to learn more about the disease. "This is the only way to protect oneself from the disease. People have to proactively engage in the campaign and learn about precautions that will keep their families safe," said Dr VK Monga, chairperson of the Health Committee, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Meanwhile, the government has constituted a Special Task Force, to be headed by Dr Monga. "In a high-level meeting, we decided to intensify our campaign, increase manpower and conduct day-to-day monitoring of the situation on the ground," he added.

According to statistics released by the MCD, only three cases were reported in the corresponding period of 2009. On the other hand, the number of cases had stood at 60 and 17 in 2008 and 2007 respectively. "An average of 30 persons are testing positive everyday. While dengue cases are expected at this time of the year, the incidence is more than that of previous years," said Dr NK Yadav, Municipal Health Officer, MCD.

Most of the cases are being reported from Civil Lines, Shahdra (north) and Central Zone, he added.

Dr Bir Singh, Professor of Community Medicine, AIIMS, said: "There is an urgent need for the public to learn how to prevent dengue and protect themselves."

Number of Deaths on today - None

Total no. of deaths so far
1 confirmed
3 suspected

Number of dengue cases
550, 54 Fresh cases reported on Monday

* Use mosquito repellant cream on exposed parts of the body.
* Dengue-causing mosquitos bite during the day. So, wear full-sleeve shirts and trousers.
* Keep water covered to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Fever, bad headaches, muscle and joint pain, skin rash, pain behind eyes and overall weakness. While doctors recommend Paracetamol for reducing fever, they say that aspirin should be avoided to reduce the risk of bleeding.

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