Malaria cases drop in Mumbai, dengue on rise
In the first 12 days of this month, malaria cases have dropped by 47% compared to the number of cases during the same period last month, according to data released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, dengue cases have increased in the same period in August and September
Between August 1 and 12, the city recorded 395 malaria cases, which dropped to 210 in the same period this month. In the corresponding period, dengue cases increased from 61 to 85 in the city. Civic health officers said when monsoon recedes, malaria cases reduce, while dengue cases pick up from September onwards.
“It is the pattern of mosquito-borne diseases. Anopheles mosquito that causes malaria breeds extensively in stagnant, dirty water leading to a rise in the number of cases during the peak of monsoon season between June and August. But when the downpour decreases, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that causes dengue starts breeding. So, post-August, dengue cases become higher,” said Dr Jeetendra Jadhav, medical officer L ward comprising Kurla and Chembur.
BMC is screening construction workers for malaria symptoms. Already 446,077 houses have been inspected and 4,108 mosquito breeding grounds have been destroyed.
“We have seen a definite resurgence of dengue and malaria in the last two months. Dengue patients are more serious where some of them are coming with very high ferritin (blood protein that contains iron) levels. We have warned patients from taking self-medication for any type of fever. Over the month we have seen dengue and gastroenteritis cases increasing in Mumbai,” Dr Behram Pardiwala, head of internal medicine, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.
BMC has instructed dispensaries to conduct rapid antigen tests for malaria for all suspected cases. People with fever, chill and cough are being tested for both malaria and Covid-19 as both have similar symptoms.
Dr Manjusha Agarwal, senior consultant-internal medicine at Global Hospital, Parel, said, “Water containers, water storage tanks, empty tires, and pots act as dengue breeding sites. Keeping surroundings clean, emptying unnecessary stored water containers is important. Dengue fever can be life-threatening and proper treatment under the supervision of a doctor will avert complications.”