No dengue epidemic in Pune, reveals civic body survey

Published: Oct 31, 2012, 09:01 IST | Anup Satphale |

Experts believe increased cases can be attributed to rapid diagnostic kits used by private pathology laboratories

A recent survey conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to know the exact situation of dengue in the city showed that contrary to earlier reports, there was no major outbreak of the disease in the city.

Accompanied by several officers from World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), the PMC officials collected samples of stagnant water from various spots in the city.

Under control: A PMC employee fogs a suspected mosquito breeding spot in the city yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Different indices of entomology surveillance revealed that there is no major outbreak of dengue in the city. Experts believe the increased cases of dengue can also be attributed to the result of rapid diagnostic kits, which are currently used in private pathology laboratories.

During the survey that was carried out in the last three days, the PMC officials checked residential premises to find out the areas infested with larvae or pupae of mosquito (Aedes aegypti). After collating the data, various indices were calculated and the findings pointed out that it was not an alarming situation.

“If we see indices like House index, Breteau Index and Container index, it’s very less than the desired norms. It means that dengue density is very less and number of patients found are based on the rapid diagnostic kit reports, which increases the possibility of false report or wrong diagnosis,” NVBDCP Consultant at Regional Director Office Dr Vijay Pandore said.

Dr Pradip Awate, assistant director of State Health Services, said, “Considering that various indices are below low risk area, we can say the city don’t have dengue epidemic. But if we see these indices area wise then you will find dengue intensity high in some areas or index may have crossed low risk and reached mid-risk area in the report.”

Within limits
When House index, Breteau Index and Container index were calculated from the data provided by the PMC, it was found that all the figures were either below or in low risk area.

Commenting on the number of patients found positive in the city, an entomologist who is a consultant with the regional director said, “Only NIV and medical college test reports are considered for the exact figures of dengue infected people. But considering increased number of patients, many private labs use the rapid diagnostic kit. This kit cannot give proper information about the disease and sometimes reports can be false.”

Seconding the entomologist’s opinion, Awate said accuracy of the test done using a rapid diagnostic kit was less, and these test were less specific in comparison to tests carried out by NIV and at medical colleges. 

Did you know?
>> Container index is defined as the percentage of containers found infested among the group of containers examined. Desired range: Container index <1%
>> House index is defined as the percentage of houses infested with Ae. aegypti larvae or pupae among the total number of houses examined at a given survey. Desired range: House index <1%
>> Breteau index is defined as the number of containers infested per 100 houses inspected. Desired range: Breteau index <5%

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