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Dengue wars: Battle begins

delhi Updated: Jul 27, 2010 00:11 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Hindustan Times
Dengue

Dengue is back. Going by the four-year cyclic trend the virus follows, experts predict a spurt in cases this year.

And the numbers have already started nodding in consonance with the experts. With one death, that of seven-year-old Fakir (an “imported” since he contracted the virus in Bihar on a trip), the Capital has already recorded 30 cases till July 26 this year.

As per the MCD data, that is a 15-time increase in cases as compared to two cases recorded till July 31 in 2009. While Fakir died, another little boy is fighting for his life at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Experts say the numbers are going to rise even further.

“Every four years, the dengue strain becomes potent, leading to dengue shock syndrome. So, if the number of cases is checked, we might be able to manage the severe strain,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, professor, department of medicine, AIIMS. He also said, “If both the numbers are high and the strain is severe, the situation may roll out of hand.”

MCD officials blame sporadic rainfall and heavy construction activity across the city for the early spread of dengue. “One cannot negate the fact that there is a lot of construction activity going on everywhere, leading to water collection in many unwanted places. These fresh water pools become breeding hubs for Aedes Eqypti, the dengue-spreading mosquitoes,” said Dr N.K. Yadav, municipal health officer, MCD.

“Regular surveillance and increased awareness are the only ways to tackle the mosquito menace and the MCD is geared towards fighting the disease,” he said.

“This year, the cases have started coming in early. We have already seen more than 15 dengue cases. Looking at the past trends, it will not surprise me if there is an epidemic like situation in September-October when dengue peaks,” said Dr S.P. Byotra, chairman, department of medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Experts at BLK Memorial Hospital also expressed concern at the rising number of cases. “Of the 20-odd patients of suspected dengue, five tested positive. The MCD should work towards curbing the mosquito mess, instead of playing down the figures,” said a doctor at BLK memorial hospital.