Thirty-two cases of dengue were reported in the city in January, up from 21 in the same month last year, according to municipal data. The number of dengue cases peaks during the monsoon, owing to rampant water stagnation. In winter, however, mosquito breeding spots are usually found in and around homes, according to Dr Mini Khetrapal, head of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) epidemiology cell. “In Mumbai, we see dengue cases throughout the year. However, during winter, most mosquito breeding sites are found in and around homes,” she said.
“One of the most common observations is that many people place buckets under their air-conditioners but don’t drain the collected water regularly. This leads to mosquito-breeding during the off-season,” she added.
R Naringrekar, a BMC insecticide officer, said “Local insecticide officers have found breeding sites in areas from where dengue cases have been reported.”
Meanwhile, the BMC has begun its preparations to curtail dengue during the monsoon.
“We are sensitising doctors at civic and private hospitals in 24 wards on how to handle dengue cases. The dengue cases in winter are a wake-up call to destroy breeding sites and prevent transmission,” said Dr Khetrapal.
Doctors said some of the dengue patients they were treating also had other illnesses. “Yes there are dengue cases. I have four patients with tuberculosis who are also infected with dengue. There are also patients with lung and urinary tract infections who have dengue as well. But they are all stable,” said Dr Om Srivastava, an infectious diseases specialist.