NEW DELHI: Three new instances of dengue reported last week have taken the total number of cases to 13 , shows latest data provided by the municipal corporations.
Eleven cases were reported in Delhi during the corresponding period in 2016, when Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak that left more than 15,000 people infected and 60 dead.
The similar numbers, however, are not predictive of whether Delhi will witness an outbreak of the vector-borne disease this year, experts said.
“My guess is as good as anyone else’s about whether there will be an outbreak. There are theories that dengue is cyclic, meaning that fewer cases are seen after there has been an outbreak. But there are four serotypes of dengue, and herd (community) immunity developed during an outbreak from one serotype will not protect the population from the other three serotypes,” said a municipal health officer.
Dr BR Mirdha, additional professor of microbiology at AIIMS, agrees. “Last year, serotype two and four causes infection. Since the population is now immune to them, the effect would be mild if the same serotypes circulate this year, but if other serotypes infect, people will be vulnerable,” he said.
Experts said at this moment efforts must be focused on prevention of breeding of aedes egypti, the mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and zika.
“The mosquito that transmits dengue only breeds in clear water and takes eight days to mature. So, clear your homes of stagnant water at least once a week to prevent breeding,” said the health official.