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‘India needs permanent dengue surveillance system’

India: Researcher at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) N Sivagnaname urged for a permanent dengue surveillance system in India to monitor and control the mosquito-borne viral disease. In a paper titled, Urgent need for a permanent dengue surveillance system in India, N Sivagnaname and his colleagues explained that the dengue surveillance system is essential so as to forecast the outbreaks well in advance.

The researchers proposed setting up of a separate dengue surveillance system (DengueNet–India) for India in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Government of India (GoI); research centres and laboratories around the country in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO).

The paper explained that existing technologies such as GIS, polymerase chain reaction, rapid antigen tests, genetic sequencing and bioinformatics can be harnessed to provide a holistic approach to suppress the resurgence of dengue epidemic. The surveillance system would also help in spotting the season and the area that needs more attention for monitoring, preventing and forecasting the impending outbreaks.

The researchers further mentioned that the database will be continuously updated to share current and historical data on dengue cases with DengueNet–India and DengueNet–WHO. The goals of DengueNet–India will be to standardise the reporting of dengue cases and to provide early warning prior to dengue epidemics, which may help reduce fatality rates.

Source: SciDev Net