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New Delhi, 07 May 2018: People who virtually show no symptoms are likely to be the primary source of dengue fever, according to a new study. It estimated that more than 80% of dengue virus infections are attributable to individuals with mild to no symptoms who do not seek treatment from a physician. About 400 million people each year are infected with dengue virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Those with dengue needing intervention are either identified after they have already contributed to transmission or are not identified at all. There is a need to shift emphasis toward more proactive disease prevention strategies that do not rely as strongly on responding to detected cases alone.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said, “Dengue should be diagnosed early as the patient has maximum viremia during early phase with more infectivity. The test to be done is NS1 antigen and not IgM. NS1 is positive in less than 5 days and the IgM becomes positive after 5 days. IgG and IgM kits are provided free by the Government of India but not the NS1 kits, which need to be procured by the states themselves. The priority should be NS1 kits and not IgM. Apart from this, all cases of severe dengue with rapid test positive for NS1 or IgM should be notified as dengue cases. Prevention should be the primary focus of combating dengue, failing which it may become difficult to control further transmission.”

There is a need to bring about a paradigm shift in our thinking. We need to over report and act in time. There is no point acting when the cases have started. Often, the civic bodies publicly act in monsoon season. They might plan ahead but public awareness and public involvement must start much ahead of time.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “It is true that disease spreading mosquitos do not make noise but noise producing nuisance mosquitos unless addressed to will not create a public movement. One must report all the suspected cases and not wait for confirmation of the diagnosis. We have failed because the government has been insisting to notify only ELISA confirmed cases. An SMS should be sent to all doctors practicing in specific areas with a case so that they can become a part of the public health action chain.”

Few other points to be considered include the following.

• A community approach means that 100% of the society talks about dengue. Every premise must indicate that it is mosquito free. When you are invited to someone’s house, you should ask “I hope your premises are mosquito free”. When you invite, write, “welcome to my house, it is mosquito free”.

• The idea of checking your house once a week needs a change. One needs to be alert every day. It should be a part of your routine. You do not clean your premises once a week. Make it a habit to look for the breeding places.

-Ends –

About Heart Care Foundation of India

Initiated in 1986, the Heart Care Foundation of India is a leading National NGO working in the field of creating mass health awareness among people from all walks of life and providing solutions for India’s everyday healthcare needs. The NGO uses consumer-based entertainment modules to impart health education and increase awareness amongst people. A leading example of this is the Perfect Health Mela; an annual event started in 1993 that is attended by over 2-3 lakh people each year. The Mela showcases activities across categories such as health education seminars and check-ups, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and competitions. In addition to this, the NGO conducts programs and camps to train people on the technique of hands only CPR through its CPR 10 mantra for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest. They currently hold three Limca book of world records for the maximum number of people trained in hands-only CPR in one go. Keeping article 21 of the Indian Constitution in mind, which guarantees a person Right to Life, Heart Care Foundation of India has also recently initiated a project called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund to ensure that no one dies of a heart disease just because they cannot afford treatment.

For more information, please contact

Heart Care Foundation of India

Sanjeev Khanna-9871079105

Md Adib Ahmed- 9873716235