Fever death toll at 150 in six months

Private hospitals are reeling under a shortage of the oseltamivir tablets used to treat H1N1 fever.

Thiruvananthapuram: The failure to effectively initiate the annual pre-monsoon cleaning routine in the month of February has the cost the state dearly, with 150 people losing their lives to the fever epidemic that has broken out with the advent of rains.

The population of the freshwater dependent Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the vector for dengue fever, has shot up uncontrollably this season. Even with fever spreading at a quick rate the authorities are focusing more on waste disposal rather than vector control. Fogging has not been initiated even in the corporation areas.

Dengue fever had spread through the state at similar proportions in 2003. But unlike the present times, the Type II and Type III virus were more prevalent then. According to Dr. N Sulphi, the Secretary designate of IMA, the current strain, Type I, has been attacking the immune system like a new virus breaking down the resistance built up through the previous attacks. He opined that dengue needs long-term planning for control and eradication.

H1N1 while affecting lesser number of people than before, has killed 56 people in the last six months. In the meanwhile, private hospitals are reeling under a shortage of the oseltamivir tablets used to treat H1N1 fever. The private hospitals were purchasing oseltamivir from the Karunya medical stores under the Government owned Medical Services Corporation.

The corporation has already overshot its target of buying 4.48 lakhs tablets. It has purchased 5.32 lakh tablets so far and confirmed that 22,700 tablets were available for distribution now.

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