The health department has laid special focus on conducting anti-dengue drives in vulnerable areas, places that were affected in the last few years. A study conducted by the department has revealed that the dengue cases were higher in rural areas, both in the Plains and the Hills, of the district.
At least 40 cases of dengue have been reported in Darjeeling district so far this year, which, officials said was much higher compared to last year. “We have emphasised on special surveillance in areas which are dengue-prone or where high numbers of dengue cases were reported earlier. Those sentinel sites are priority areas for us.
Preventive measures are taken based on that. We are raising awareness on vector control measures,” said the district chief medical officer of health Dr Pralay Acharya.
Health officials associated with the vector borne disease control programme said more surveillance, supervision, and entomological surveys on a regular basis were done in high-risk areas.
“Generally, more focus is laid on those areas for antidengue drive where intervention in all forms–from garbage management to spraying–are stepped up to stop the mosquito menace,” an official said. According to Dr Acharya, an entomological study, including one to ascertain the mosquito density, and study of the mosquito larvae found in containers were underway in both the Plains and the Hills.
According to data available at the health department, the number of dengue cases has been high in rural areas of Matigara, Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa in the Plains, and Bijanbari and Sukhia Pokhari in the Hills. Around 28 cases were found recently at Dudhia on the foothills of Kurseong alone in the Plains, which, officials have said, were unusual even a few years ago.
“The number of dengue cases has increased this year as compared to the previous year. Dengue is known as an urban disease, but cases have been found in the peri-urban areas too. Some cases were also detected at Bijanbari and Sukhia Pokhari in the Hills. There was an outbreak of dengue at Dudhia, but the situation has been brought under control now. We are monitoring the situation, but it is not alarming,” Dr Acharya said.