Dengue fever seemed to be on the way out with India reporting 74 cases on Wednesday, a sharp drop from the 199 reported a day earlier from across the country that health officials said could be due to the wintry chill setting in many parts.
Wednesday's figure is easily one of the lowest reported on a single day since the mosquito-borne viral outbreak began in early September.
With the 74 cases, the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 7,761. Two people died of the disease, including one in Delhi, taking the total deaths to 129 so far.
"The fall in the number of cases could be due to a dip in the day temperatures," an official of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme said.
He said that the states that were still receiving dengue cases were Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The average number of patients till last week had been around 200-250 a day.
Delhi continued to be the worst affected from the disease with 62 cases admitted. A 13-year-old boy, Ashish, died of the virus at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), taking the total dengue death toll in Delhi to 47.
The boy, a resident of Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh, died at AIIMS of complications. He had been admitted on Oct 16 in a critical condition.
"His condition was deteriorating as there were fluctuations in the platelet count," said DK Sharma, AIIMS medical superintendent.
The death of the young boy was the third such death since Sunday.
"The death cannot be seen as an increase in dengue cases as the boy was admitted a week ago," said DS Negi, Delhi's health secretary.
"We think that the number of cases has decreased. Earlier, the average number of patients coming in everyday was 80, but now it has declined to 50," added Negi.
The 62 fresh cases has taken the total number of patients to 2,240 in Delhi.
In AIIMS, the hospital that has borne the brunt of the dengue cases, 43 new cases were reported on Wednesday taking the number of patients being treated to 184.
"We have 30 patients under observation. Earlier, we used to have around 200 people under observation everyday," said Sharma.
Meanwhile, patients continued to come to the Capital from nearby states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
"We hope that the number of cases in these states would also start declining soon as the state governments are making all efforts to control the disease," said Negi.
Of the total cases in Delhi, 811 had come from outside—250 from Haryana; 441 from Uttar Pradesh; 17 from Rajasthan; and 103 from other states.
Apart from Delhi, the states affected by the virus are Rajasthan (972), followed by Kerala (834), Gujarat (456), West Bengal (702), Uttar Pradesh (513), Tamil Nadu (308), Punjab (586), Maharashtra (582), Haryana (315), Karnataka (92) and Andhra Pradesh (88).
Health authorities were also battling chikungunya in many states, with 188 districts affected by the viral fever. Seven new chikungunya cases, including two in Delhi, were reported on Wednesday taking the total number of cases to 1,673.
According to health officials, 31 cases of chikungunya were reported—that is two more than the 29 reported on Tuesday.
The condition in other states was similar: 679 cases were reported from Maharashtra, Karnataka—294, Andhra Pradesh—248, Gujarat—170, Tamil Nadu—116, Madhya Pradesh—62 cases, Kerala—38, Rajasthan—24 and Pondicherry—9.