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Dengue may be on its way out in Delhi

With average temperature in the city being 2-3 degrees below normal, number of cases have come down.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2006 22:23 IST

Dengue may well be on its way out, in the Capital at least.

Number of cases in the disease, which has claimed 44 lives in the city since early September, have come down, thanks to a change in weather.

"Earlier, the average number of patients was around 80, but less cases are being reported due to the change in weather," said Delhi's Health Secretary DS Negi.

"We hope that this decline would be more visible in the next few days," he added.

In the past few days, the average day temperature in Delhi has been 2-3 degrees below normal.

Lower temperature is not conducive to the breeding of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries the dengue virus.

The official said the drop in day temperature in the past couple of days had affected breeding of the mosquito, but efforts should be made to use this opportunity to end the menace.

"We believe that the change in weather along with continued efforts of civic authorities has now started showing some positive results with lesser number of cases being reported," added Negi.

In the 24 hours till Sunday evening, 56 new patients were reported in Delhi, compared to 89 in the previous 24 hours. The total number of dengue patients in the city is 2,053, while the number of deaths increased to 44 after one more patient died.

The latest victim was a resident of Najafgarh area in southwest Delhi who died due to multiple organ failure.

"It is true that there is a downward trend in dengue because of the change in weather but we have to be very careful," said NK Yadav, medical officer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

"If the number of cases being reported continues to go down, we believe the virus could be controlled in another 10 days. We have to be very careful and use all our resources to further limit the spread of virus," Yadav said.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which has been receiving the largest number of patients since the first dengue cases were reported in early September, also showed the declining trend and has received only 24 new cases since Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, 30 patients returned to their home after treatment.

"This is a good trend, more people are leaving the hospital than coming in," said AIIMS medical superintendent DK Sharma. He added that the total number of patients in the hospital was 179.

"We have decided to gradually withdraw over 100 doctors who have been deployed to look after the dengue patients," he said.

Many patients from nearby states - mostly Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan - have also been coming to Delhi hospitals for treatment.

Meanwhile, the death toll from dengue across the country stood at 120 and the total number of patients at 7,055.

Among other states, Kerala has reported 834 cases, followed by Rajasthan (838), Gujarat (456), West Bengal (627), Uttar Pradesh (513), Tamil Nadu (308), Punjab (413), Maharashtra (582), Haryana (232), Karnataka (92) and Andhra Pradesh (76).

Health authorities across the country were also battling Chiukungunya, a fever caused by a virus spread by the same type of mosquito.

Delhi reported 28 new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of patients to 1,665.

Apart from Delhi, the maximum number of confirmed chikungunya cases were reported from Maharashtra (679), followed by Karnataka (294), Andhra Pradesh (248), Gujarat (170), Tamil Nadu (111), Madhya Pradesh (62), Kerala (38), Rajasthan (24) and Pondicherry (9).