Today the New York Times reported that ‘An epidemic of dengue fever in India is fostering a growing sense of alarm even as government officials here have publicly refused to acknowledge the scope of a problem that experts say is threatening hundreds of millions of people, not just in India but around the world.’
It appears that the Indian government has failed to build an effective system for the detection and reporting of the alarming rise in the number of cases of Dengue, pronounced DEN-Gay, across India.
In the article Dr. Scott Halstead, a tropical disease expert focused on dengue research, said “I’d conservatively estimate that there are 37 million infections occurring every year of dengue in India, and maybe 227,500 hospitalizations.” If this is not a serious crisis, then how many more cases are needed before people sit up and listen?
As Dengue is not directly life threatening and has not killed large numbers of people, it looks like the mosquito borne disease has not come up onto the Indian Health Authorities radar. Why is this relevant to me I hear you ask? The disease has started to spread more widely across the globe and cases are now being reported more frequently both in the United States and Europe, as I have highlighted in recent posts.
If the global spread Dengue Fever is going to be seriously tackled then governments must properly equip and fund their Health Departments, encourage local councils to act quickly and be honest in their reporting of the true extent of the problem. There is no hiding from vector borne diseases like Dengue!