With over 14,465 dengue cases and 40 deaths registered, Tamil Nadu is said to have recorded the highest number of dengue deaths in India. This data by the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP), further implies the alarming levels of negligence within the healthcare system in the state. Late preliminary diagnosis and on-time medication are some of the reasons cited by officials for such high numbers.
Incidentally, Kerala recorded the highest number of Dengue cases with 19,053, but the number of deaths have been restricted to 35.
According to a report by the Deccan Chronicle, a latest inspection by the 5-member team from the Central Government, the public health department is ensuring that all fever cases are being tested for dengue within the first three days as per the WHO protocol. Government hospitals have stated in the dengue review meetings that late referrals led to most of the mortalities due to dengue and the largest number of deaths were recorded at the institute of Child Health.
Dr Ravi Chandran, dean Institute of Child Health said, "Most of the paediatric dengue deaths were due to late referrals from private hospitals. As per the WHO protocol, dengue test is being carried as soon as the fever cases are reported at the hospitals. It will help to identify dengue patients at a non-critical stage and dengue can be cured with appropriate treatment."
As per the recommendations from the central team, a rapid NS1 antigen test is done within 24 hours to screen for dengue at all government hospitals at the 24/7 fever clinics and wards. Dr K. Kolandaisamy, public health director said, "All fever patients are being tested for dengue. A NS1 antigen test is conducted from day one to day five and IgM test on the sixth day to screen all patients and provide them with the appropriate treatment."