Northeast India on alert as malaria kills 20 in week

June 13, 2014

At least 20 people have died from malaria in a remote corner of India in the past week, putting medical authorities on high alert at the start of the monsoon season, an official said Friday.

Tripura health minister Badal Choudhury said deaths so far in the northeast state were unusually high, with doctors ordered to contain the mosquito-borne disease before it "gets out of hand".

"So far we have received reports of 20 deaths and more than 400 people afflicted with the disease in the past one week," Choudhury told AFP by telephone.

"The exact toll could be higher as we are still getting reports of malaria deaths from interior areas," he said.

"We are taking it very seriously as we do not get reports of so many deaths in the initial stages of the monsoon.

"So we need to be prepared to fight the disease soon before it gets out of hand."

Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people die every year from malaria in India particularly during the when the mosquitos carrying the parasite breed.

India's remote northeast region, which is forested and cut by rivers, suffers heavily from the disease whose symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and jaundice.

Parts of northern Tripura bordering Bangladesh are the worst hit so far this year, and teams of doctors have been sent to the area and fumigation services stepped up.

"We have put on alert medical teams across the state to ensure the disease doesn't spread to newer areas," the minister said.

"Most of the casualties were in tribal dominated areas of Gandachera and the Longtharai Valley in the northern district of Dhalai."

According to the World Health Organisation, hundreds of people died from in 2012 in India out of 627,000 deaths globally.

But a study published in The Lancet in 2010 concluded that the number of deaths in the world's second most populous country was more than 200,000 each year.

The study said the WHO's reporting methods were flawed as it depended on patients who have been diagnosed by a doctor. Many deaths in India occur at home, rather than in a hospital or a clinic, the study said.

Explore further: Sierra Leone reports two Ebola deaths, 12 cases

Related Stories

Sierra Leone reports two Ebola deaths, 12 cases

May 30, 2014
Health officials in Sierra Leone say there have been two deaths from Ebola and a dozen other cases of the deadly disease.

India minister vows to eradicate deadly encephalitis

June 10, 2014
India's new health minister on Tuesday ordered 'extraordinary steps' to end the deadly disease encephalitis, after it claimed the lives of 44 children in the country in the past fortnight.

Australia gives $104 million to fighting malaria

November 2, 2012
(AP)—Australia will spend more than 100 million Australian dollars ($104 million) over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria in the Asia-Pacific region.

Oman reports three swine flu deaths

May 28, 2014
Omani health authorities announced Wednesday three deaths this month from the swine flu virus, the official ONA news agency reported.

Austrian children injected with malaria parasite (Update)

May 2, 2014
An Austrian commission following up on claims that doctors deliberately infected patients with malaria to treat others with syphilis says hundreds of people, including orphans in a psychiatric hospital, might have been infected.

Sierra Leone raises Ebola death toll, confirms new cases

May 30, 2014
Sierra Leone on Friday raised its death toll from Ebola and doubled the number of confirmed cases of the virus amid fears the deadly epidemic gripping West Africa is spreading.

Recommended for you

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.