Intermittent rains in Delhi may increase dengue, chikungunya menace
Hospitals across Delhi have already reported 40 cases of dengue and 96 of chikungunya since January this year, which is not usually the season for mosquito- borne diseases. Health experts say intermittent rains in the past some weeks will help mosquito breeding.delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2017 07:19 IST
The rain may have come as a respite from the heat but it is not good news as far as mosquito-borne diseases are concerned. The intermittent showers mean there will be more breeding grounds for mosquitoes and increased chances of dengue and chikungunya.
Hospitals across Delhi have already reported 40 cases of dengue and 96 of chikungunya since January this year, which is not usually the season for mosquito- borne diseases.
A total of 23 cases of malaria have also been reported from Delhi hospitals till May 27, of which six were reported this week, according to the weekly report of Municipal Corporations Delhi (MCD).
No deaths due to these mosquito-borne illnesses have been reported so far.
“Intermittent showers are worse than continuous monsoon rains. There is a chance of more breeding if the water in potholes and bottle-caps in trash is left undisturbed,” said Dr SM Raheja, who heads Delhi’s dengue control cell.
Last year, when Delhi had a chikungunya outbreak that affected 7,760, not a single case was reported till July. In case of dengue, which affected 4,431 people last year, only 13 cases had been reported till May end.
“The numbers are high early on this year because of improved surveillance. Chikungunya was reported last year only after 100s of cases had already poured into hospitals. This year, the cases are being reported earlier because of better surveillance as it has now been made a notifiable disease,” a Delhi government health official said.
A notifiable disease means all hospitals mandatorily have to report chikungunya cases to the government.
A health advisory on zika, another viral disease spread by aedes aegypti, has been circulated to all hospitals.
The national advisory was re-circulated after the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday confirmed first three cases of zika in India.
The three cases were picked up by the government during surveillance in Ahmedabad in February 2016, November and January this year. Of the three, one was a pregnant woman.
States where dengue transmission in ongoing have been asked to be extra vigilant and enhance vector management activities.