Delhi has reported five Japanese Encephalitis cases for the first time, which has triggered a worry among health experts as they fear the disease might become endemic.
Medical histories of the patients affected by the mosquito-borne disease show that they have not travelled anywhere in the past one year or more, establishing that the disease-causing mosquitoes, Culex Tritaeniorhynchus, have made breeding pools in the city.
“It has been established that these people contracted the infection in Delhi. Once we get the lab reports, we’ll get to know the extent of the problem.” said VK Monga, chairman, public health committee, MCD.
“Although we are taking help of experts, we feel there is nothing alarming, at least as yet,” added Monga. “We have taken measures like fogging and de-weeding of the water bodies to kill and prevent mosquito breeding,” said Dr NK Yadav, medical health officer, MCD.
Meanwhile, cases of dengue — caused by Aedes Egypti mosquitoes — are also on the rise. On Thursday, 24 new cases were reported — highest in a day this season — taking the total count to 503. So far, Dengue has killed four in Delhi. Chikungunya, caused by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, has affected 20 people so far, with eight new cases reported today.
Malaria, caused by Anopheles mosquitoes, has also infected over 80 people this season. “While we are carrying out regular de-fogging exercises, the public also needs to be vigilant and exercise all precautions,” said an MCD official.