Dengue cases cross 5,000 mark, Delhi’s highest since 2015 outbreak

Delhi has reported nine deaths due to the infection so far, nearing the 2017 toll of 10. There were four deaths reported in 2018, two in 2019, and one in 2020
The Delhi government made dengue a ‘notifiable disease’ in mid-October, along with other vector-borne diseases like malaria and chikungunya, under the epidemic diseases act. (Picture for representation only/HT Archive)
The Delhi government made dengue a ‘notifiable disease’ in mid-October, along with other vector-borne diseases like malaria and chikungunya, under the epidemic diseases act. (Picture for representation only/HT Archive)
Updated on Nov 16, 2021 12:16 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The number of dengue cases in Delhi almost doubled to 5,277 as the city added 2,569 new cases of the mosquito-borne infection during the week ending on November 13, according to the weekly report released by the municipal corporations of Delhi.

Delhi reported 4,431 cases in 2016 and 4,726 cases in 2017, before it dropped sharply to 2,798 cases in 2018, 2,036 cases in 2019, and 1,072 infections in 2020.
Delhi reported 4,431 cases in 2016 and 4,726 cases in 2017, before it dropped sharply to 2,798 cases in 2018, 2,036 cases in 2019, and 1,072 infections in 2020.

This is the highest number of dengue cases recorded in the Capital since its largest ever dengue outbreak in 2015 when nearly 16,000 people were affected and 60 died.

“Of the total number of cases reported this week, 25-30% of the cases are from the last two months and are only now being reported by healthcare facilities. There has been an increase in reporting since the disease was made notifiable,” said a senior official from the corporation health department.

The Delhi government made dengue a ‘notifiable disease’ in mid-October, along with other vector-borne diseases like malaria and chikungunya, under the epidemic diseases act.

Another official from the Delhi government’s health department concurred, but added a note of caution: “There has been a change in the reporting process this year to strengthen the system. It stands to reason that more cases will be reported this year; the data cannot be compared to previous years.”

Delhi reported 4,431 cases in 2016 and 4,726 cases in 2017, before it dropped sharply to 2,798 cases in 2018, 2,036 cases in 2019, and 1,072 infections in 2020.

Delhi has reported nine deaths due to the infection so far, nearing the 2017 toll of 10. There were four deaths reported in 2018, two in 2019, and one in 2020.

A doctor from a tertiary care hospital, on the condition of anonymity, said that the actual number of cases – those diagnosed by a test – are likely to be four times the current figure.

“It is good that the previous numbers are now being added, but there are still many cases that are going unreported,” the doctor said.

The report shows that the number of cases reported in November also continues to be high, despite a decline in temperatures. Usually, the highest number of cases in a year is reported in October.

Discounting the 25% additional reporting this week due to the notification, over 3,000 cases were still reported in Delhi in November, higher than the 1,196 cases in October. Even during the 2015 outbreak, 7,283 cases were reported in the month of October, in comparison to just 841 cases in November.

“This year, rains were erratic and continued till late; the temperature didn’t dip much either. This is the reason we are still seeing dengue cases. The mosquito breeding is likely to go down in another week and then the cases will reduce in the subsequent 15 to 20 days,” said the municipal health official quoted above.

The municipal corporations are responsible for breeding control measures.

A senior official from Lok Nayak hospital also said that the 100-bed ward at the hospital continues to be 80 to 90% full at all time.

“We are reporting a high number of dengue cases in the hospital; unfortunately many cases are coming in late and then it is difficult to save them. People must visit a doctor if they experience any abdominal symptoms like pain, nausea, and vomiting,” said the tertiary care hospital doctor quoted above.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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