Chandigarh: Punjab’s seven-year-old record for the number of dengue-fever cases in a season is under threat. A late-receding monsoon is responsible for activating the vector.
Until Sunday, 4,135 cases of the mosquito-borne disease were reported, while 4,300 cases was the all-time-high number in 2008. Data from Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Punjab, suggests that the state’s first case for the season was reported about two months ago, and in the past one month, an average of 100 cases are being reported everyday. In the first week of September, 500 cases were reported. Since then, more than 3,500 cases have been added.
Bathinda, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala are the worst-affected districts of Punjab. In the views of experts, the late spell of rain in last week of September made the situation more difficult, and now the state expects a large number of cases in the next two weeks. “The night temperature has come down to about 20 degrees Celsius. It gives us hope that the environment will no longer remain conducive for mosquito breeding and the number of cases will start declining after two weeks,” said Dr Rakesh Sehgal, head of medical parasitology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.