Monday, June 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mosquitoes breed under admn’s nose
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June 29
Even as the Health authorities in the city are busy observing “anti-malaria month”, mosquitoes continue to breed right outside the local Civil Hospital. While the administration claims that malaria has been effectively controlled and practically all mosquito infested areas have been neutralised, the city’s first case of suspected dengue was reported from the Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital.

District health officials have neither confirmed nor denied the report. Ms Sukhwinder Kaur (40) was admitted to the hospital four days ago with viral-like symptoms. The hospital sources said tests had confirmed dengue. The city reports several cases of dengue each year, especially from low-lying areas along Buddha Nullah and hutment along the drains passing through various areas of the city.

Medical practitioners like Dr Raminder Singh feel that there is an urgent need for the administration to send teams to identify areas that have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes rather than make tall claims. He said he had been receiving several cases of malaria during the past week despite the claims of the Civil Surgeon’s office that the city had been rid of malaria.

“It is a simple case of apathy and those responsible should be identified and punished. If the department is observing June as “anti-malaria month”, how come it has overlooked cleaning of its own surroundings. Stagnant water outside the Civil Hospital is one such example”, says Mr Ramesh Chand, who runs a chemist shop close to the hospital.

Ironically, the Health Department, which is observing “anti-malaria month” is claiming to be distributing literature and booklets as part of its awareness drive. People are being asked to clean their coolers, check accumulation of water in the surroundings to stay clear of malaria and dengue. The health workers have also claimed that they have visited most slum areas to make people aware about these diseases.

Are these claims to be believed when their own vicinity has turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes? According to a health worker at the hospital: “Since the hospital is located in a low-lying area, the rainwater gets easily accumulated and it takes few days to drain, giving enough time for mosquitoes to breed.”

It is pertinent to mention here that several cases of dengue were reported last year from the district. Medical experts said there was an increased likelihood of the occurrence of the diseases during monsoon. Dengue is caused by a mosquito that breeds on stagnant water. The symptoms of dengue are high-grade fever with acute headache and swelling in the eyes (in some cases). The experts warn that since these mosquitoes are attracted towards light, doors of the houses should not be kept open in the evenings.



Skin infections on the rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
With the hot and humid season at its peak in the city, there has been an increase in the number of patients suffering from skin infections. “Most of the patients are complaining of acne, fungal infections, prickly heat, boils, itching and redness of skin. Three to four new cases of bacterial infection, one to two new case of pricky heat and five to six new cases of acne, fungal infections are visiting the skin OPD of DMCH for consultation everyday,” revealed Dr Alka Dogra, Prof. and Head, Department of Dermatology and V.D. Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

She added that if whitish deposits are noticed anywhere on the body, with itching or redness, it could be due to fungal infection. There may be infection in the toes called athlete’s foot.

Pimples also get aggravated in this season due to hydration of pilsebaceous glands, which cause acne. Excessive strong sunlight causes photo contact dermatitis. So, sunscreen is a must for everyone.

Boils on any part of the body especially scalp and lower back are quite common in this weather. They need local as well oral antibiotics. Cases of prickly heat are also coming up. Reddish eruptions are present over the body especially over the areas where the clothing is tight. Avoid dark coloured clothes and synthetic clothes. Cases of vesicular insect bites have also been noticed on exposed parts like neck, arms and legs. Many times they are mistaken as herpes zonster and shingles. Shingles cause pain and insect bite lesions cause burning sensation.

Dr Dogra suggested certain precautions. She said light coloured cotton clothes should be worn. Plenty of fluids should be taken, sunscreen lotions should be applied while going out as it protects the skin. Calamine lotion or lacto calamine is quite soothing. It is a remedy for most of the skin ailments.” Salty lemon juice is quite effective for miliaria photofermatitis, keep personal hygiene and also keep surroundings clean, avoid contact with dirty rainy water by keeping you feet and legs covered”, suggested Dr Dogra.


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