With fresh dengue cases being detected, the number has crossed 250 in Bhopal, the highest among Madhya Pradesh's 51 districts so far.
Overall, the number of dengue cases has crossed 800 in Madhya Pradesh. This is worrying the city's residents as well as healthcare officials. The question that arises is despite all kinds of facilities, manpower, resources and infrastructure at the disposal of the administration in the state capital, why has it not been able to check dengue that has claimed four lives in Bhopal in 2014?
HT talked to some health experts and doctors to know the possible reasons for the surge in dengue cases in the city. Here are the top five reasons:
Shortage of water supply
Shortage of drinking water supply in the city compels people to store fresh water in containers, particularly in Kolar area. This allows dengue larvae to breed in fresh water. The larvae breeds in small openings, leaf axils, flower pots, discarded tyres, old oil drums, water pots and in water storage containers near human dwellings.
Lack of awareness
The level of awareness about dengue among people in Bhopal is poor. Not many know that its larvae breeds in fresh water or only the female mosquito transmits the dengue virus. This mosquito bites during the day and is most active in the hours after sunrise and before sunset. Despite some awareness drives by health authorities, there is resistance among people to take precautionary measures.
More case reported from Bhopal
According to chief medical and health officer Bhopal, Dr Pankaj Shukla, more cases are reported in Bhopal as compared to other districts of MP. There are 17 places in MP where ELISA testing facility is available of which four are in Bhopal. "We are reporting all cases, including the ones that come from other areas to Bhopal for treatment. So, the number of cases is higher here," he said.
Poor sewerage network
As a result of poor sewerage network in Bhopal (only 32% of the city has a proper sewerage network), water stagnates in choked drains and outside them. The poor sanitation in many areas also provides space to mosquitoes to breed and multiply. The defective ground surfaces also lead to accumulation of stagnant water. Not allowing water to stagnate anywhere in the city remains a huge challenge. So, it is technically not possible to eliminate dengue completely.
Influx of travellers
Being the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the influx of travellers or people who pass through the city, is higher as compared to other cities of MP. Dengue can easily enter into the city through infected travellers. According to health experts, migration or high mobility of people is also significantly contributing to the spread of dengue. The dengue mosquitoes' eggs are extremely hardy; they can survive for months without water, allowing them to be transported over large distances before hatching and infesting a new area.