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Dengue cases lowest in five years: MCD

delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2009 23:40 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times

Though dengue cases have shot up in the past couple of weeks, the number is still the lowest the city has reported in the last five years.

The total number of cases reported in the Capital is 231 so far, close to 80 per cent less than what the city reported last year. The number of dengue-affected cases last year had reached 1,312 by this time.

“In the wake of the Commonwealth Games, we have had been intensifying our efforts of checking breeding of mosquitoes and of fogging the city, the result of which is visible in the form of less dengue cases this year,” said N.K. Yadav, medical health officer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

However, a section of health experts feel cases are being reported from more parts of the city this year than last year, often with a more virulent strain.

“We cannot rely on MCD figures, as they report a case only if dengue serology test is positive,” said Dr K.K. Aggarwal, senior consultant (cardiology), Moolchand Medcity.

“Because of the high cost [of the dengue serology test], not all patients go for this test. In most cases we go by clinical grounds like high-grade fever, low platelets etc, and unless proved otherwise it’s diagnosed as dengue,” he added.

The MCD’s health department rubbished the argument.

“Our criterion for reporting dengue cases has been the same for the past several years — which is a national criterion. Last year also we followed the same trend, and had such high numbers. There actually has been observed a sharp drop in numbers this year,” said Yadav.

However, since the past couple of weeks, the civic agency has been reporting about 10 new cases each day.

MCD’s health experts put that down to the usual trend of infection peaking during October before dying out in November.

“That’s the usual seasonal trend. Every year, maximum dengue cases are reported in October because of the breeding cycle. That’s why this sudden spurt of cases,” said Yadav.