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The fatal bite: Dengue stings Delhi hard

This year there has been six confirmed deaths and nine suspected deaths, according to data from three municipal corporations. This takes the total number of deaths due to dengue to 15 as compared to four confirmed deaths last year.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2013 20:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The sting of dengue has turned more lethal this year with at least 15 persons falling prey to the bite of the aedes mosquito, compared to just four in 2012.

Moreover, October recorded the highest number of dengue cases -- 2,442 – for the same month’s reading in the past six years in the national capital. However, out of the 15 casualties, only six are confirmed dengue deaths and the rest are suspected to have been caused by the disease.

Dengue, also known as ‘breakbone fever’ because of excruciating joint pain and pounding headaches, is caused by the female aedes mosquito. The disease has no vaccine or specific treatment and a severe form of dengue often turns fatal.

Symptoms of dengue include severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pains and rashes while in severe cases the symptoms could be severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums and blood in vomit.

According to experts, death from dengue occurs due to internal bleeding, shock and organ failure.

According to government data, the disease kills over five thousand Indians every year, particularly during the monsoons.

Faced with the large number of dengue cases this year, the authorities even launched a massive awareness drive through TV, radio and newspaper advertisements besides carrying out fogging drives across the city.

Official figures, however, show a decline in the number of dengue cases over the past few weeks.

“Every year the virulence of the virus is different and it was stronger this year. This could have led to more deaths,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant internal medicine, Max Hospital, Saket.

With 105 recent cases in the past four days alone, the total number of dengue cases in the city has gone up to 4,671 which is just 1,588 short of the record figure of 6,259 cases recorded in 2010, the year of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

According to corporation data, North Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) recorded the highest number of cases with 1,958, followed by South DMC (1,373) and East DMC (1,163).

According to doctors, the dengue virus type II causes more complicated disease and leads to more deaths.

“However, even educated people are not aware about the cause of the disease. People think that every dengue case is life-threatening. In fact, it is not only about the platelet count, a person may get affected by dengue even if he/she is dehydrated,” Dr Tickoo added.

Dr S P Byotra, head of the department of medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital pointed out that, “if a person had been affected by the disease once, he could get affected by it again. And when the person is affected the second time, the severity of the disease could be more.”

YS Mann, spokesperson, North DMC said that from more than 100 cases on an average per day, the number of dengue cases have come down to around 100 cases in 4-5 days. “This is a positive indication. The number of cases will go down further gradually and will peter out eventually,” he added.

First Published: Nov 05, 2013 19:48 IST