Two in three Delhiites infected with dengue in 2015 were in the age group of 15 to 45, shows a Delhi government’s analysis of last year’s patient records.
“As many as 65% of the people affected by dengue last year were in the age group of 15 to 45. These were the people who stepped out of their homes to go to school, college or the workplace. Everyone must wear clothes with long sleeves or apply mosquito repellents before going out,” said Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain.
Aedes Egypti is a mosquito that transmits dengue during the day. The government is taking pre-emptive measures to prevent a dengue outbreak.
Last year, the city witnessed its worst-ever dengue outbreak in which over 15,000 people fell ill and 60 died.
Using the patient data, the government has mapped Delhi’s dengue hotspots. “This year, we will pay special attention to these areas and prevent mosquitoes from breeding,” said Dr SM Raheja, in charge of the recently created dengue control cell. Certain areas such as Narela, Bawana and Tirlokpuri in north and east Delhi were the worst affected, he said.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi report shows that 1,737 cases were reported from Shahdara north and south, 702 from Civil Lines and 601 from Narela. Southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh zone reported the highest number of cases -- 972 cases, the MCD report shows.
Officials said last year most of the breeding took place inside homes in plastic containers and coolers. The health minister requested everyone to check their homes once every week for clean stagnant water.
“The aedes mosquito takes 8 to 10 days to develop from the egg. We need to break the cycle. Every Sunday, if people take two minutes to check their homes, breeding will be reduced,” he said.
Apart from preventive measures, the government will introduce various measures to facilitate treatment, if needed. “Last year, we started 55 fever clinics during the dengue outbreak. Now, with 100 functional mohalla clinics, we can open more if needed. We will also arrange extra beds as per need,” said Jain.