Hyderabad: The annual seasonal action plans of the State health Department, implemented in collaboration with municipalities and gram panchayats across Telangana to counter the menace of seasonal diseases, appears to be finally showing positive results. In the last three to four years, the burden of seasonal ailments like malaria, dengue, diarrhoea, dysentery and enteric fevers (Typhoid) and even the incidence of swine flu or seasonal influenza have reduced significantly.
Seasonal ailments in Telangana tend to remain active throughout the year. In summer, sun strokes, dehydration, food poisoning due to consumption of stale or uncooked food are common while in winter, viral fevers, upper respiratory tract infections like pneumonia, viral fevers and influenza occur in large numbers. During the south west monsoons, Telangana witnesses an increase in vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya.
Consistent advocacy on the need to take precautions like observing dry day once a week and getting rid of sources of standing water, which is the main source for mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti (dengue) and Anopheles mosquito (malaria) to breed, among general public are gradually giving desired results, public health officials said.
In 2017, Telangana had 6.7 malaria positive cases for one lakh population. Sustained implementation of containment strategies and initiatives aimed at spreading awareness on vector-control measures has reduced malaria positive cases to 2.2 for one lakh population in Telangana.
“In the past few years, we have made a lot of progress in spreading awareness on seasonal diseases among public. The Covid pandemic also in a way helped, as people started taking a lot of care on personal hygiene. This has gone a long way in keeping a check on viral fevers and seasonal influenza,” Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said during a recent interaction with the media.
Back in 2017, the number of swine flu or seasonal influenza cases in Telangana was roughly close to 2, 200. However, in the last few years, the number of flu cases has consistently decreased. The Covid pandemic also has played its role in further drop in cases of swine flu in Telangana. “Precautions taken by the general public during the pandemic have impacted cases of swine flu. Extensive use of masks, personal hygiene and physical distancing has led to significant drop in swine flu infections,” senior public health officials said.
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