12 dengue patients in city show signs of chikungunya THE INFECTION
Twelve dengue patients from the city are suffering from an infection from a virus mimicking chikungunya, a phenomenon which has killed at least 20 people in Delhi so far, said doctors.
The patients have been kept under observation at the civicrun Kasturba Hospital and their blood samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, to identify the strain mimicking the vectorborne virus. The reports are expected in four to five weeks.
The number of chikungunya cases in the state has more than doubled between January and September this year, said officials, adding 207 cases were reported last year. Of the 637 cases recorded in Maharashtra this year, 500 were from Pune city and Pune rural areas.
Dr Om Srivastava, head of infectious diseases cell, Jaslok hospital, who works closely with the state vector control cell, said patients at Kasturba Hospital have tested negative for the DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, used as a diagnostic tool for chikungunya. “The patients suffering from dengue have joint pain and fever, which are symptoms of chikungunya infection. But as the tests are negative, we suspect it is a different strain of virus which is mimicking chikungunya,” said Srivastava. “We cannot say Mumbai is under the twin attack of chikungunya and dengue, which increases the mortality rate in patients.”
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, is treating 112 people for chikungunya, 11 of whom have contracted dengue too. The number of chikungunya cases reached 3,695 in the Capital, data released by municipal corporations showed. They have recorded 1,692 cases of dengue so far.
“Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes spread both the viruses. The outbreak of chikungunya is controlled as there are fewer cases of dengue,” said Dr Lalit Dar, a professor of microbiology at AIIMS, Delhi.
The redrawing of the electoral map of the city ahead of the civic polls in 2017 is likely to hit nearly 80% of the wards, upsetting calculations of political parties and many sitting corporators.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will announce the reservations and the new wards formed after delimitation on Monday. According to sources, while the number of wards (227) will remain the same, the areas they cover might change. Moreover, with the increase in scheduled caste (SC) population, the number of wards reserved for SC candidates has risen to 15 from the current 11. The number of wards in the open category will drop from the existing 77.
This means that 80% of the 227 corporators may not retain their wards and consequently the voter base, which they have nurtured over the past five years. The changes will make selection of candidates tricky.
The 2011 census, population growth in the suburbs and drop in the island city have been taken into account while redrawing electoral wards. Each ward has an approximate population of 54,000.
“The process has been going on for the past two years. We have taken the enumeration data from the 2011 census and carried out GIS mapping of electoral wards before redrawing the boundaries,” said a civic officials. According to sources, seven wards from the island city will be reallocated in the suburbs, while three wards from the suburbs will be restructured.