As many as 433 dengue cases have been confirmed in the first three days of October, taking official figures to 2,557. At this rate, warn experts, Delhi is staring at its worst outbreak of the viral disease in more than a decade.
City's three municipal corporations that record dengue data have confirmed three deaths. There are seven suspected deaths as well -- patients tested positive for dengue at hospitals and labs but the civic bodies are yet to confirm the diagnosis.
The first step towards fighting the outbreak would be for the government to stop under-reporting cases, say experts. It would make people realise the gravity of the situation and also help in creating awareness.
Delhi's worst dengue outbreak in over a decade was in 2010, when 6,259 cases and eight deaths threatened to derail the Commonwealth Games. In October
that year 2,246 cases were reported, highest in the month since 2006.
"With a wet October predicted, the Capital is facing its worst dengue outbreak in over a decade," KK Agarwal, a senior physician at Moolchand Hospital, told HT.
The metrological department has said monsoon rains will continue in the city till October 13. Dengue spreads through bite of mosquitoes that breed in fresh water.
"Until mosquito breeding is controlled, dengue cases will continue to rise," said Dr SP Byotra, who heads the department of medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
North Delhi is the worst hit, with 1,205 cases reported so far. The south corporation has recorded 653 cases and east 565. Rohini has the highest number of cases in the city -- 567.
"This is the fourth continuous month of monsoon this year. Showers alternating with warm weather is creating more mosquito breeding sites," said north Delhi municipal corporation commissioner PK Gupta, claiming fogging and sanitation drives were on to control dengue.