News Flash – 7 September 2019

National News



Coach of Express Train Catches Fire, No Injuries

TRAGEDY AVERTED: A fire broke out in the rear power car of the Chandigarh-Kochuvalli Express minutes after it entered platform 8.



New Delhi: There was chaos at New Delhi Railway Station on Friday after the luggage van of the Chandigarh-Kochuvalli Express caught fire while it was stationed at Platform 8. No one was injured in the incident. The fire department sent 12 fire tenders, which took half an hour to douse the flames, by which time the coach was completely charred. Police suspect that the fire was caused due to a short circuit in the generator unit of the coach. Atul Garg, chief fire officer, said they received a call at 1.57pm about the fire on platform number 8. The services on platform 9 and 10 were also stopped, and the passengers were evacuated from the area. The teams from RPF and GRP were also deployed to prevent access to these platforms from the over-head bridge. A railway official said the fire broke out in the rear power car of the 12218 Chandigarh-Kochuvalli Express minutes after it entered the station. While the railway officials started to douse the flames, a team from the security units evacuated the boggies ahead of the luggage van. “The train halted with a jerk, following which the lights and air conditioning systems went off. We were told that there was a technical glitch, but soon the RPF personnel entered the coach and asked us to leave our belongings and move to the coach ahead. It was only when the train reached Nizamuddin station, we were allowed to return,” said a passenger. “A fresh power car was added to the train and it departed to its destination at 3.50pm. An inquiry has been initiated,” said the official.



In Hyderabad, all 4 Dengue Variants bare Fangs


Hyderabad: Doctors have called for a molecular monitoring of dengue as all the four variants of the virus that are in circulation in Hyderabad and other parts of India are likely to emerge into recombinant virus strains posing more danger to people. Viruses are known to exchange genetic material and since all the four strains of dengue virus are in co-circulation there is a risk of emergence of newer potent variants. Already in the last three years a new variant of dengue virus had emerged with a new serotype, making it difficult for doctors to keep dengue under check. The recent spurt in dengue cases is also attributed to changes in genetic make-up of the virus. “There are high number of severe dengue cases in Hyderabad. The problem is found to be more severe in primary infections, particularly in dengue variant-2 virus (Denv-2). There is a simultaneous circulation of all four variants of the virus. This makes the virus hyper endemic,” said Dr Suneetha Narredddy, consultant (infectious diseases), Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. The strains present in Hyderabad are known to cause severe dengue fevers. The city had a few people getting infections with more than one strain at the same time, she added.



Even as the threat of new strains of dengue looms large, a team of doctors at Gandhi medical college and hospital has found co-infection of dengue, chikungunya and salmonella (typhoid) in patients. Almost one in two dengue patients in Hyderabad suffer from co-infection and in such cases, they need simultaneous Medicare. In the last three year’s researchers have found emergence of a new strain (clade D of dengue virus type 4). Also, a new genotype of dengue virus-4 has been isolated. Doctors warn that presence of all four variants (serotypes) of dengue virus will result in secondary infection, making matters worse. The dengue virus-4 has emerged as the most potent of the four variants, doctors said. Senior physician Dr Syamala Aiyanger said during an epidemic, multiple strains can circulate. Infection with one strain usually gives lifelong immunity against that strain, but only transient or brief immunity against other strains. This cross immunity is only partial. So, a person infected with one strain remains vulnerable to others and can be infected by all during their lifetime. A research study by a team from department of microbiology, Gandhi medical college and hospital, revealed that some of the dengue patients were also suffering from chikungunya and a few others showed triple co-infection with chikungunya and typhoid.



About 44% of the people, studied as part of the research, had acute dengue, 29% had chikungunya and 15% had typhoid. It also revealed that one in eight dengue patients was also suffering from chikungunya, one in 16 had chikungunya and typhoid and one in 20 patients had typhoid and dengue. “The drastic increase in dengue infection could be partly attributed to geographic expansion of the vector (mosquito) due to increasing urbanisation, unavailability of specific antiviral therapies, licensed dengue vaccine, and poor understanding of the host immune responses,” said RA Khan from department of biotechnology and bioinformatics, University of Hyderabad, in his research study that unravelled the role of a protein (dengue virus EDIII) in the spread of dengue. The UoH study could also help in development of new drugs to fight the dengue menace. TIMES VIEW: In view of dengue scare with four possible variants of the virus in co-circulation in Hyderabad, the government should form a special committee of senior researchers, doctors and government officials to examine the pattern of the virus, pockets where the virus is more active, and suggest ways to contain it.



Corporation Identifies Dengue Hotspots, intensifies Vector Control


Chennai: If you are a resident of Tondiarpet, Vyasarpadi, Madhavaram or Velachery, beware; dengue mosquitoes may be buzzing near you. These areas have been identified as dengue hot beds this week after tests on aedes mosquitoes and larvae picked tested positive for the viral infection. Greater Chennai Corporation officials said they would prioritize vector control measures in these areas to prevent human infection and spread awareness. Between July 19 and 24, field officers from the corporation picked up aedes mosquitoes from Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Thiru-vi-ka-Nagar, Adyar, Perungudi and Sholinganallur, and sent them to the Directorate of Public health for tests. found across the city among other species such as culex and anopheles. However, their density until the first week of September has been low, said chief vector control officer S Selvakumar, citing the agency’s daily surveys.



Selvakumar said field officers visited houses, construction sites looking for various breeding sources. Each officer recorded the percentage of houses infested with larvae and/or pupae (house index), the percentage of water-holding containers infested with larvae or pupae (container index) and number of positive containers per 100 houses inspected (breteau index). “A house is considered low risk if the point is less than one,” he said. Mosquitoes from these sites are sent for lab tests. “But not all aedes carry the virus. A female infected mosquito injects the virus into humans. If the viral load is high or the immunity in the human is low, it can make the person seriously ill,” said city health officer Dr N Senthilnathan. In the past three years, dengue has killed nearly 80 people in Tamil Nadu and resulted in hospitalisation of almost 30,000 people. This year, there have been sporadic cases of dengue across the city. Children’s hospitals government.



Flood Warning Issued in 12 Districts

READY FOR RELEASE: Water level in the Mettur dam was 117.59ft on Friday as against its total capacity of 120ft.



Coimbatore/Erode: With increase in the inflow of water into the Mettur dam in Salem district, authorities on Friday issued a flood warning to 12 districts of Tamil Nadu through which the Cauvery water courses. In its first flood warning, the public works department cautioned people living on the banks of the Cauvery and low lying areas to move to safer places. It also asked the district administration to take necessary precautionary measures downstream along the Cauvery and also for safety and security of people and properties. Stating that the water level in the dam has reached 117.59 feet as against full level of 120 feet, authorities said the Ellis saddle sluice gates will be opened soon. According to PWD sources, inflow into the dam increased following heavy discharge from Karnataka.



Discharge from the dam also increased from 18,000 cusecs to 25,000 cusecs from 5.30pm accordingly. The flood alert has been sounded for Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Tiruchirappalli, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts. In Erode, the water inflow to the Bhavanisagar dam increased to 9,000 cusecs from 4,500 cusecs on Thursday night after 8,000 cusecs of water was released from the Pillur dam in the Nilgiris district on the same day. Following heavy rain in the Nilgiris district, the Pillur dam has almost reached its maximum storage capacity on Thursday. “Nearly 8,000 cusecs of water were being released from the Pillur dam to Bhavani river,” said a PWD official from Bhavanisagar dam.

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