111 malaria cases reported in Delhi, double that of dengue
Till August 17, Delhi had confirmed 111 malaria and 57 dengue cases. Twenty cases of chikungunya were also reported.Updated: Aug 19, 2019 23:22 IST
The number of malaria cases has been double than that of dengue since the beginning of this year, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) data released on Monday said. More than 100 cases of malaria have been reported in Delhi till the week ending on August 17.
Till August 17, Delhi had confirmed 111 malaria and 57 dengue cases. Twenty cases of chikungunya were also reported.
Nearly half of the total malaria cases were reported in July, when the monsoons finally hit Delhi. A delay in monsoon progression because of a late onset and a cyclone in the Arabian Sea had disrupted the wind pattern. Delhi is still rainfall deficient.
“There are fewer cases right now, but with water accumulation increasing the breeding grounds, the number of cases is likely to go up in the coming weeks,” said a municipal health officer on condition of anonymity.
In comparison, 131 cases of malaria were reported during the same period in 2018 and 215 in 2017.
Hospitals across the city are receiving patients with high grade fever, suspected to have malaria or dengue.
“Currently, we are receiving more cases of malaria at our clinics. A few sporadic cases of dengue have also been reported since mid-July,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, a treating doctor and a consultant of internal medicine at Moolchand Medicity hospital.
Safdarjung, one of the biggest government-run hospitals in Delhi, has been getting about 150 patients suspected to have malaria or dengue. “We get around 1,200 people in the medicine OPD every day, of these about 150 get a diagnosis of suspected malaria or dengue; mostly malaria. This gets confirmed only after tests later on. Another 100 such patients come to the medicine emergency,” said Dr BK Tripathi, head of the department of medicine at Safdarjung hospital.
“Dengue cases will likely go up next month,” he added.
Doctors suggest people should take preventive measures.
“The best way to avoid getting these vector-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeve clothes and using mosquito repellents when stepping out of the house,” said Dr Sharma.
Preventing the breeding of mosquitoes can reduce the number of cases. “People need to ensure there is no accumulation of water outside their homes or clean stagnant water in buckets and coolers, etc., within their homes. Any water accumulation can lead to the breeding of mosquitoes and spread of the disease,” Dr Tripathi said.
Bharat Baisla,31, had been self-medicating to bring down his fever for nearly four days before he consulted with a doctor. “I noticed that my fever kept returning as soon as the effect of the medication was wearing off. I was also feeling very sick and lethargic. Initially, my fever was between 100 and 103°F (normal is 98.6°F), but on the fourth day it went up to a 105°F. So I rushed to the hospital,” he said.
By the time he reached Moolchand hospital about a kilometre away from his home in South Extension, his body temperature was up to 106.8°F.
He was immediately admitted. The doctors sent his blood samples for several tests to determine what was causing the fever. He was diagnosed with malaria and was put on anti-malarial drugs.
Dos and Don’ts
Wear full sleeve clothes while stepping out
Use mosquito repellents on uncovered body parts
Sleep under mosquito nets
Prevent breeding by ensuring no water accumulation in the neighbourhood
Clean and scrub any water container like bucket, bird bath, or feng shui bamboo plant every seven days to prevent breeding inside the house
When to go to a doctor:
If the fever does not let up after three or four days
If the fever is very high, above 103 degrees
If there is diarrhoea and vomiting along with fever
Chills and nigh sweats
Body, joint or head ache along with pain behind the eye
If there are red bruises or bleeding from the nose or the gums