Dengue cases reach 1,730 mark

| | New Delhi

With 545 cases of dengue reported in the national Capital over the last week, the total number of people affected by the disease has reached to 1,730 this season, according to a municipal report released on Monday. The number of people affected by malaria this year till September 9, has climbed to 712 while the figure for chikungunya stands at 432 with 40 new cases reported previous week.

However, the senior officials of the Corporation said environment-friendly initiative such as the introduction of the concept of the dengue free cooler and dropping Gambusia fish in water bodies has been taken up at war footing to curb the menace and intensified Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns to generate awareness among the people. "The concept was developed by experts of health department after years of research and experience practical approach to deal with mosquitoes menace. The maximum breeding of Aedes mosquito, which causes dengue and chikungunya, takes place in desert coolers so we have already instructed manufacturers to sell dengue-free cooler. This initiative would help in containing the number of cases of these diseases," they said.

A 12-year-old boy had succumbed to dengue shock syndrome on August 1 at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here, the first death due to the vector-borne disease reported in the city this season.

Vector-borne diseases are reported between mid-July and November-end. Cases of all the three vector-borne diseases were reported much earlier this time, which doctors had attributed to the early arrival of the monsoon. Dengue and chikungunya are caused by Aedes agypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. Anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.

According to the report, breeding of mosquitoes has been reported at 1,46,614 households in Delhi. All the three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drives — distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers issuing dos and don'ts for prevention of the diseases.

At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including the nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the civic bodies stood at 10. Seventeen deaths suspected to be due to malaria in 2016 were also reported by the civic bodies.

At least 15 fatalities were reported last year at various hospitals in the city due to complications triggered by chikungunya, though the civic bodies have kept the death tally at zero. In one of the worst outbreaks, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, 2016, out of which 9,749 were confirmed.

The National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) had already found two new species of Anopheles Stephensi (urban vector) and Anopheles Culicifacies (rural vector) circulating this year. The parasitic infection was lying dormant after mutating, but it has made a comeback after a gap of five years at a time when Delhi is already reeling under the scourge of dengue and chikungunya. Experts have raised the red flag after the resurgence of this deadly parasite and have advised Government agencies to take adequate measures to arrest the spread of this deadly infectious disease that can play havoc with people's health.



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