Worst yet to come, say doctors as Delhi reports over 600 cases of malaria, chikungunya and dengue
Cases of Malaria, Chikungunya, and Dengue continue to see a rise in the national capital. Authorities today said that 26 new cases of malaria were reported last week, taking the total number of patients of the vector-borne disease this year to 210. Further, till July 15, 150 cases of dengue and 183 cases of chikungunya were reported.
Municipal authorities said that the number of cases may continue to see a rise during the peak season of vector-borne diseases, which starts from mid-July and continues till the end of November. Doctors fear worst this year, as the cases of all the three vector-borne diseases have started coming much early due to the timely arrival of monsoon.
Of the 210 malaria cases, 108 affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest of the cases diagnosed here were traced to other states. At least 49 cases have been recorded this month. Seventeen fresh cases of dengue and 12 of chikungunuya were recorded in the week gone by, the report said.
Of the 183 chikungunya cases, 122 of the affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest of the cases were traced to other states, it said. Twenty-two cases of dengue have been reported this month, while 15 were recorded in June.Dengue and chikungunya are caused by bite of aedes agypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water, while anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.
Breeding of mosquitoes has been reported at 58,753 households in Delhi, according to the report. All the three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drive, including through distribution of pamphlets and plying of vehicles carrying loudspeakers, issuing dos and don'ts on prevention of vector-borne diseases.
The Delhi government had on June 23 issued instructions to state-run and private hospitals and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity by up to 20 per cent for the next six months to deal with a possible outbreak of dengue and chikungunya. The government has banned over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and brufen as their use may "pose a threat" to dengue and chikungunya patients. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month directed the authorities to make a comprehensive plan in the matter, while civic bodies are trying to combat the menace of mosquito breeding, in and out of homes, through regular monitoring.
Though the season of vector-borne diseases had ended in December, the city continued to report such cases, prompting authorities to prepare a combat plan. Six cases of dengue were reported in January, four in February, 11 in March and as many in April. As many as 4,431 cases of dengue were reported till the end of 2016. On May 13, Kejriwal had chaired a high-level meeting of officers from the three municipal corporations and the Delhi government to discuss plans to eliminate vector-borne diseases in the national capital. He had also written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, requesting him to reserve 10 per cent of the beds in the central government-run hospitals for the treatment of dengue
and chikungunya patients.
Till January 14, only two chikungunya cases were reported, while no dengue case had been diagnosed till then. 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. At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the SDMC stood at 10. Seventeen suspected deaths in 2016 due to malaria were also reported by the civic bodies. 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.
(With PTI inputs)