Over 45 dengue victims hospitalised in Gorakhpur

Updated: Sep 24, 2013, 15:27 PM IST

Gorakhpur: Over 45 people have been hospitalised in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur District after being diagnosed with dengue.

The mosquito-borne viral disease, which is also called "breakbone fever" because of the severe pain it can cause, has hit various villages in the district.

According to experts, 70 percent of the world's serious dengue cases were in Asia, with India alone accounting for 34 percent of the total.

"We have already treated 45 people affected by dengue and now 14 more patients are admitted in our hospital. We have arranged all the necessary facilities for the patients. We have also opened a ward for the dengue-affected patients. People who are showing signs of dengue fever; we have shifted them to the other ac rooms in the hospital. Most of the patients are coming from other states like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Kanpur," said Rajiv Srivastava, a doctor at the Government Medical Centre in Gorakhpur.

Around 390 million people are infected each year with dengue fever - the world's fastest-spreading tropical disease - more than triple the current estimate by the World Health Organization.

Climate change is also making more parts of the planet habitable for the dengue-spreading mosquito.

The number of people hit by the viral had increased to an extent that people placed cots on the streets for the patients. One of the villages affected by Dengue had dirty streets and puddles of filthy water.

"Before I got admitted to the hospital I suffered from severe joint and muscle pain, weakness, headache and exhaustion," said Mohammad Rafi Khan, a patient admitted at the Government Medical Centre.

Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue has grown rapidly along with urbanisation and globalisation because it thrives in tropical mega-cities and is easily spread in goods containing small puddles of water, such as used tyres.

There is as yet no approved vaccine or specific drug to treat dengue, which is not normally fatal but lands many victims in hospital.

Dengue is a disease that hits more than once and people who get it mildly first time are more likely to have a serious episode if bitten again by an infected mosquito.

Hopes for an effective dengue vaccine suffered a setback last year when an experimental shot from Sanofi proved far less effective than hoped in a mid-stage clinical trial in Thailand.

Further large trials of the Sanofi vaccine - the most advanced in development - are still continuing and scientists have not given up hope that it may yet have a role of play.