On the wane: Delhi logs less than 300 new dengue cases

Overall, Delhi has so far registered 9,260 dengue cases and 15 deaths. No new death was reported over the past week
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) workers fumigates at Shaheen Bagh. Delhi has so far registered 9,260 dengue cases and 15 deaths. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) workers fumigates at Shaheen Bagh. Delhi has so far registered 9,260 dengue cases and 15 deaths. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 14, 2021 03:14 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

With temperatures dropping consistently in Delhi over the past one week, the number of dengue cases being reported in the national capital during the week has also declined to below the 300 mark, for the first time since mid-October (there were 243 cases in the week ending October 16).

According to the weekly report on mosquito-borne diseases, released by the municipal corporations of Delhi on Monday, the city recorded 285 dengue cases and zero malaria and chikungunya cases. No new death due to dengue has been reported during the past one week, the report said. The figure is quite low, health officials said, adding that in the two weeks preceding that, Delhi had recorded 699 and 1,148 new cases of dengue, respectively.

Overall, Delhi has so far registered 9,260 dengue cases and 15 deaths — figures second only to the 60 fatalities recorded during the 2015 outbreak when nearly 16,000 people were infected.

A senior public health official from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the nodal agency for data compilation, said the city is well past the peak of dengue infections and the mosquito activity is likely to reduce even further in the coming weeks as the daily temperature drops. On Monday (December 13), Delhi registered a minimum temperature of 6.6 degrees Celsius (°C), which is two degrees less than normal for this time of the year. The maximum temperature on Monday was 22.4°C, one degree less than normal.

SDMC officials said both the anopheles (malaria transmitting) and aedes aegypti (dengue transmitting) mosquitoes prefer warmer environs, ideally above 30°C. “Once the temperature drops to about 20°C, they become less active in open environments and stop functioning entirely once the mercury drops below 10°C. People still need to be careful as adult mosquitoes have a life of one month. Fumigating and cleaning the house and premises thoroughly will help remove adult mosquitoes that will otherwise live in ambient house temperatures,” the public health official said, asking not to be named.

This year, Delhi has recorded the most number of dengue infections and deaths since 2015. A bulk of these came in November, when the corporations logged 6,739 cases. In Delhi, the number of dengue cases usually peak in the month of October and the delayed peak of the infection was attributed to a delayed withdrawal of the monsoon and the slow arrival of winter, officials said.

“Three more deaths related to dengue are under investigation by the death audit committee and a final decision is pending,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.

Once a dengue or malaria related death is reported by a hospital, a nine-member expert committee audits all documents related to that patient to ascertain whether it was indeed the infection that killed the person and whether the origin of the infection was Delhi. The committee also takes a look at other aspects like co-morbidities before attributing the death to vector borne diseases.

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