Is dengue emerging as a major public health problem in southern region of Gujarat?
Author(s): Tanvi Panwala, Summaiya Mulla
Background: India is one of the countries in the South-East Asia region regularly reporting Dengue fever (DF)/Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) outbreaks. Diagnosis of dengue infection is easily and best accomplished by demonstration of specific IgM antibodies in blood. As effective control and preventive programmes depend upon improved surveillance data.
Objective: This study was done to report the seroprevalence of Dengue virus infection in an area around South Gujarat, India.
Methodology: The laboratory records of clinically suspected 5526 Dengue patients from January 2010 to December 2013 were analysed retrospectively for seasonal variations, and results of IgM anti dengue antibodies, tested by Dengue Monoclonal Antibody (IgM) Capture Enzyme Linked Immune Sorbent Assay (MAC ELISA). Secondary analysis of data of Dengue patients was done after obtaining the data from hospital.
Results: 5526 serum samples were tested for dengue (IgM) MAC ELISA out of which 1128 samples were positive. Majority were males (65.69%), having sex ratio of 1.91:1 and in the age group of 16-30 years. Seasonal trend showed that infection peaked in October and slowly tapered by December.
Conclusion: Dengue cases were more during September to December in the post monsoon season which is useful to plan special preventive strategies. The overall significant increase in dengue IgM seropositivity among suspected cases in last 3 years indicates an increase in dengue virus activity which raising the question whether dengue is emerging/re-emerging as a major health problem in South Gujarat.