4 times more dengue cases this November than last year: Data
The city recorded almost four times more dengue cases — 275% — this November, compared to the same period last year, revealed data from the public health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Doctors attributed the spurt in cases to unprecedented rain in Mumbai last month, following cyclonic activity in the Arabian Sea.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, which could lead to a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.
This November, 180 cases of dengue were reported as against 48 cases during the same period last year, according to data. The data also showed a rise in incidents of suspected dengue, from 1,000 in November 2018 to 1,993 last month.
Mumbai recorded the most number of dengue cases during the monsoon months of June to September. Rise in cases in November is an unknown phenomenon, city doctors said. November 2019 recorded the all-time high rainfall for the month with 109.3mm, breaking the previous all-time high of 101.3mm in November 1979.
According to medical experts, the unforeseen rain in November provided favourable conditions for mosquitoes. Dr Rahul Tambe, senior consultant, internal medicine, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, said, “Unseasonal rain starts a ripple effect, which results in the spread of diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis. Both diseases are completely preventable and we have to maintain a sanitised environment to avoid dengue mosquito breeding. It’s best to visit doctors immediately if you have a cut or scratches on your feet and wade through waterlogged areas.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades with about half of the world’s population at risk. There are an estimated 390 million infections each year worldwide.
This year, so far, Mumbai recorded 13,031 suspected dengue cases, of which 882 were confirmed. However, dengue-related deaths have decreased from 14 in 2018 to three this year (till November).
Meanwhile, leptospirosis cases have increased to 32 last month, from 11 in November 2018. Leptospirosis is an infection present in rodents.
Human exposure to water contaminated by urine from the infected animals results in the bacterial infection.
Dr Om Srivastava, infectious diseases expert, advised people to take doxycycline if they walked through or were stranded in a waterlogged area.