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DEN-2 variant in dengue is more prevalent

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Lucknow, Sep 26 (IANS) The DEN-2 variant of dengue is becoming prevalent among individuals who have tested positive for this mosquito-borne disease in Uttar Pradesh, according to data from the health department.

Dr Vikas Singhal, joint director of vector-borne diseases in the Uttar Pradesh health department, said, "Out of 46 samples sent from Gautam Buddha Nagar for genome sequencing, all have tested positive for DEN-2, the second strain of dengue, which multiplies faster. No new variant of dengue has been reported in the state this year."

Samples from Ghaziabad have also tested positive for DEN-2. So far, over 6000 cases of dengue and seven deaths among dengue patients have been reported in the state.

The three districts with the highest dengue cases are Gautam Buddha Nagar (627 cases), Ghaziabad (575 cases), and Lucknow (700 cases).

DEN-2 was the predominant strain, accounting for over 89 per cent of positive dengue cases in 2022 as well.

Among the 252 samples tested to identify the strain, 157 tested positive for DEN-2, while three showed a double infection of DEN-2 and DEN-4, according to the data. There are four strains of dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), and among them, DEN-2 is known to infect people the fastest.

This year, over 6,000 people have tested positive for dengue in the state, with seven fatalities. "We are currently in the September-October period, which has historically seen a peak in dengue cases. This year, cases are still being reported daily, but with increased surveillance and follow-up by our field staff. However, the number of patients developing severe symptoms and fatalities has decreased. We hope the peak will pass with even fewer cases," said Dr Singhal.

Among all the reported cases, Lucknow has documented 415 dengue cases.

Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary-general of the Association of International Doctors, noted a change in people’s perception, stating that individuals are taking fever, the most common symptom of dengue, more seriously and seeking medical attention earlier. High fever and prolonged joint pain following a fever are causing significant distress to many individuals.

Doctors attribute this condition to 'pyrexia of unknown origin' or viral fever. "This type of fever requires further investigation to determine if it is scrub typhus or another viral infection," said Dr PK Gupta, former president of the Indian Medical Association in Lucknow.

"Fever lasting more than 24 hours requires proper medical attention, especially among pregnant women. With viral infections affecting many individuals, self-medication should be avoided, particularly among pregnant women, children, and the elderly," said Dr Amita Shukla, a senior gynaecologist at SC Trivedi Memorial Trust Hospital.



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