Dangerous dengue variant DENV-2 detected in Kerala, 10 other states

Image for representation only. File/ Reuters

New Delhi: The presence of a dangerous variant of dengue fever, DENV-2, has been found in 11 states, including Kerala.

Apart from Kerala, other Indian states where the presence of the mosquito-borne viral infection are confirmed are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Odisha.

The virus causing dengue is called the dengue virus (DENV); hence the variant named so. Though many DENV infections give rise to only mild illness, DENV can cause an acute flu-like illness. Sometimes this develops into a lethal complication, called severe dengue.

The Union Health Ministry has alerted these states to take extreme caution to avoid the spread of the disease. This variant can cause serious health issues to the patients compared to other types of Dengue disease.

According to the advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry, immediate steps should be taken to identify patients, give them treatment, and procure medicines and treatment kits by these states to deal with any eventuality.

The high-level review meeting held to discuss the COVID-19 situation here the other day asked the states to take immediate preventive measures to contain the spread of this variant.

Advisory by health ministry
There is every chance of a fast spreading of the disease. So, a state-level action task force should be formed with the active involvement of health workers, states the advisory from of the Central government.

Areas where the disease can be spread quickly should be identified and containment measures should be taken accordingly.

Since the patients having this disease are prone to suffering from internal bleeding, hospitals should be equipped with the required facilities to deal with the situation. The general symptoms of the disease are fever, vomiting, headache and body pain.

The contact list of the patients should be released and helpline numbers should be notified. Moreover, awareness should be created among the public about symptoms of the disease and various mosquito eradication programmes, the advisory states.

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