Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Health officials in tizzy as new dengue hotspots emerge in Canacona, Palolem

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 23, 2024, 12:22 AM IST


Fast rising number of cases of dengue in far flung Canacona which is steadily emerging as a new hotspot is worrying health officials overseeing the battle against the threat of dengue.

On Saturday, a dozen new confirmed and suspect cases came to light in the single locality of Palolem, a tourist hotspot. Earlier the area already had over 40 people stricken by the disease and convalescing, thus raising the tally of dengue cases (both confirmed and suspect) in Palolem alone to over 60.

The situation has driven a sense of panic among the locals who have approached the health authorities at the Community Health Centre in Canacona with a request to step in and take some adequate measures.

Meanwhile, in the hinterland of Canacona too cases of dengue was a cause of much concern in areas of the Gaondongrem panchayat comprising far-flung hamlets of mostly tribal inhabitants deep in the forest.

Canacona's sub-divisional officer, Madhu Narvekar along with health officials led by Dr Jose Tavares, visited the affected areas and met with villagers there. 

Narvekar had ordered panchayat officials to take the necessary preventive measures as instructed by the health department including fogging and other action to prevent mosquito breeding.

An awareness session for the locals was also conducted to spread awareness about measures such as preventing water accumulation in unused waste tyres, water tanks, discarded coconut shells and utensils which are ideal conditions for breeding of the aedes mosquito responsible for the spread of dengue.

Meanwhile, with cases even if 'suspect' rising, Canacona is a new area where officials manning the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) at the Directorate of Health Services headquarters in Panaji which is headed by Dr Kalpana Mahatme.

In keeping with its strategy to tackle the menace of dengue which has seen cases double in comparison to last year in the first five months (January to May), the affected localities of Canacona will be minutely monitored and remedial measures taken to stem the spread. 

With the monsoon already set in, the next few months particularly when there are prolonged intermittent dry spells, the dengue transmission season peaks.

Until now, areas of concern were limited to Zuarinagar-Sancoale and parts of the Mormugao port city, besides Candolim-Calangute and Chimbel, where DHS teams are already working on the strategy to map every confirmed as well as 'suspected case' and follow up on treatment till the patient is cured. Now, they will also add Canacona to the list of such endemic areas.

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