78% dengue deaths in Maharashtra are from Mumbai
An official from BMC’s public health department said this year the city experienced unprecedented rainfall, which increased the number of mosquito breeding spotsmumbai Updated: Oct 26, 2017 10:09 IST
In a stark reminder of why we must keep our surroundings clean, especially during the monsoon, of the 18 people who died of dengue this year in Maharashtra so far, 14 deaths (77.77%) were reported from Mumbai, one each was recorded from neighbouring cities of Thane (5.55%) and Kalyan (5.55%). The data collected is from January 1 to October 14.
An official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) public health department said that this year the city experienced unprecedented rainfall, which increased the number of mosquito breeding spots.
As reported by HT on Wednesday, Mumbai received 3,029.9mm rainfall this year, the highest in the past six years. The rainfall is 772mm in excess of the annual average of 2,258mm.
The official added that in a metropolis such as Mumbai, it is a daunting task to identity all mosquito breeding spots as most are found on private properties — residential and commercial — which the health workers cannot access easily.
“There are so many high-rises in the city. Until citizens don’t change their behaviour and realise the importance of not providing breeding grounds to mosquitoes around their households, it will be difficult to keep dengue in check,” the official said.
He added that since mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus are diurnal [active during daytime], it is difficult to pinpoint the spot where the patient was bitten.
“Despite this, our health officers survey areas around the house of every patient who succumbs to dengue,” said the official.
An epidemiologist associated with the municipal health department said the most susceptible group to the infection are children under the age of two.
“They are susceptible to developing complications, so parents need to be careful and make them wear appropriate clothes to avoid mosquito bites,” she said.
The last three months have witnessed an upsurge in the number of febrile illnesses [of relating to fever], said doctors from city’s tertiary civic hospitals. More than 15,000 cases of fever were reported from civic hospitals between August 1 and October 14.
Dr Anita Matthews, infectious disease specialist, Lokmaniya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, said there is a rise in upper respiratory chest infections.
“People must to stop taking antibiotics unnecessarily. Most of the infections are viral, for which antibiotics won’t work,” Matthews said.