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Since the cases of Dengue fever were reported in Triolet early this week, there have been many more speculations on human agents than in the missing Malaysian plane MH 370. However, all indications hint that focus is narrowed to one Mauritian traveller.
With the rising number of cases (the official figure has now reached 20) in the area which is hardly 1 km2, the fear of the people is real.
“Who is  next?” is on everyone’s mind.
For lack of information, people   are pointing fingers at Bangladeshi and Malagasy workers and also at Indians who they believe visited the Shiv Prakash Mandir, a Hindu House sub centre at Cinéma Cassé during the Maha Shivratri festival.
‘At no time did any Indians come to our Triolet centre,” says Visham Ramdhun who runs the centre, adding, “In fact, six religious men, Swamis, were invited by the Hindu House. They were lodging in Port Louis travelling daily to Grand Basin. None of them had any health problems and never did any of them visit the Cinéma Cassé centre.”
The inhabitants, too, unanimously dispel the rumours that there were foreign artistes or Swamis  at the centre during the Maha Shivratri festival.
As for the Bangladeshis, they have long moved to other quarters and the Malagasy workers recruited by a textile factory are all reporting for work. Fit as fiddle.
Understandably the people are jolted by the death on Tuesday of a 76-year old man with an ailing prostrate. It is not established that he had caught Dengue fever but all the nineteen cases are in the neighbourhood.
Regarding   the law, there are glaring flaws. When the Health Surveyance Officer. The one who takes the blood sample, calls on the person who has travelled back from a malaria/dengue prone country all he can do is ask for a blood sample. He cannot demand. It is not mandatory. The law does not back him up. In many cases, the traveller, especially someone who is snobby, does not comply with the officer’s request.
“All we can do is enter his or her refusal   in our note  book and the matter ends there,” said one officer who prefers anonymity.
When asked about the Dengue outbreak at Cinéma Cassé  in the village of Triolet, he says it took his colleague a few days to track the traveller who had returned from India.
“He had given his home telephone number, not mobile. Every time the officer called at the given address there was nobody home. Finally after several attempts when the sample was taken, it was positive.”
The next person to be detected positive was Mrs H, his housemaid, says a neighbour. The information is confirmed by a Heath Officer who, too, prefers anonymity.
“Our job,” complains one Health Surveyance Officer who collects the blood samples “is too frustrating. We are only five covering the entire district of Pamplemousses with a population of 141,000 and with an area of 178 sq km2 stretching from Crève Coeur to Triolet.”
“Sometimes we are snubbed by the traveller and the unleashed dog   does not make it any easier,” he further complains.
More and more people are travelling to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Dengue prone countries. The Swat district in Pakistan had recorded 7000 cases last year and Delhi alone had recorded one thousand in three days during an outbreak last September.

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