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India registers 3,000 dengue patients, toll crosses 40

The mosquito-borne dengue disease continued to take its toll across India Thursday with over 40 people reported dead and nearly 3,000 suffering// from it even as the government maintained the situation did not merit an epidemic status.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said: "The situation is not that of an epidemic and we expect that the number of dengue cases will see a decreasing trend in the next two-three days.

"So far we have recorded 2,900 cases of dengue from across the country. I would like to say that in spite of the above numbers, the situation is under control. We are not complacent and the situation is a matter of concern to the government."

He also briefed the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, three of whose family members are feared to have been affected by dengue, on the steps taken to contain the disease.

"There is absolutely no need for panic," Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dasmunsi said after the cabinet meeting here.

Dengue is caused by the bite of Aedes Aegypti, a type of mosquito, that breeds in stagnant water.

The dengue outbreak usually erupts as the annual monsoon tapers off across the country, leaving behind countless small pools and puddles of stagnant water.

The worst affected by the dengue virus is the capital where one more patient died, taking the death toll to 17 even as over 50 fresh cases were reported Thursday.

Laxmi Narayan, 55, a resident of Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh, was the latest victim of dengue at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the country's top public hospital.

"Narayan was admitted to the hospital this morning in a serious condition but he succumbed to the ailment at around 2 p.m.," said AIIMS medical superintendent D.K. Sharma.

"Till forenoon (Thursday) we have recorded 16 deaths and one more person has died at AIIMS this afternoon," said N.K. Yadav
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