Besides dengue and chikungunya, malaria also strike Delhi hard this year, say officials
According to data released by the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), hospitals across the city have already reported 945 cases of dengue with one death, 339 cases of chikungunya and 516 cases of malaria.Updated: Aug 30, 2017 11:33 IST
Dengue and chikungunya are not the only mosquito-borne diseases threatening Delhi this season, malaria is also expected to strike harder this year.
According to data released by the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), hospitals across the city have already reported 945 cases of dengue with one death, 339 cases of chikungunya and 516 cases of malaria.
The numbers are expected to go up in the coming months with intermittent showers during the retreating monsoons.
“Usually, the cases of mosquito-borne illnesses start coming in during July and go up in August and September. They peak during October and then the numbers start coming down,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consultant of medicine at Moolchand hospital.
Clinics have begun getting an increasing number of cases of dengue and malaria. “There has been a 25% increase in the number of dengue cases over the past three to four days. I think that with the rains, the number of cases will only go up,” said Dr Surajit Chatterjee, senior consultant for internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo hospital.
Om Prakash, 47, was admitted unconscious and with high fever to the emergency department of Moolchand hospital 10 days ago. He was diagnosed with dengue. “I had fever and went to a neighbourhood doctor. The medicines he prescribed actually made it worse. I was in a kind of stupor and could not even recognise people around me. I was brought to the hospital when I collapsed,” said Prakash, who works as a field assistant at Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC).
This year, there has also been an increase in the number of malaria cases. “For every seven dengue cases that I receive, I receive one malaria case. Usually malaria is not this common in Delhi,” said Dr Sharma.
“Once a person has chikungunya, they are immune to it for life. And, since we saw a huge number of chikungunya cases last year, this year the numbers are less,” said Dr DK Seth, senior municipal health official.
“In comparison, malaria cases have been relatively very less for the last two or three years. Immunity to malaria is only effective till the parasite is in the blood, this means that the herd immunity of Delhi against malaria must have gone down during the previous years. We suspect that the malaria numbers will go up this year,” he added.
Mosquito-breeding control and awareness messages are still focussed on the viral diseases spread by aedes aegypti mosquitoes. “Unlike mosquitoes that spread dengue, the mosquitoes that spread malaria can also breed in dirty water. However, the focus remains on checking households for water collection,” said a corporation official, on condition of anonymity.
“The focus of the court, the lieutenant governor, the government and all the civic agencies towards management of solid waste has helped in keeping the mosquito population in check, but need to do more to stop mosquito diseases,” he added.
First Published: Aug 29, 2017 23:23 IST