Cases of vector-borne diseases from Jan to May lowest in five years: Data

Data revealed that between January and May of 2016, 1,762 water and mosquito-borne disease cases were reported but this year till May, the number fell to 809, a drop of 54%.
The city recorded 19 cases of leptospirosis till May 2020 compared to 20 in 2016, in the first five months.(REUTERS)
The city recorded 19 cases of leptospirosis till May 2020 compared to 20 in 2016, in the first five months.(REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 08, 2020 04:11 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByRupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, cases of dengue, malaria and leptospirosis in the city have dropped by 54% in the first five months of this year, compared to the corresponding period for the last five years, stated the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Though there has been a worry that the lockdown can affect BMC’s disease control measures before the monsoon, data shows that in comparison with the last five years, this year till May, Mumbai has recorded the lowest number of mosquito and vector-borne diseases.

Data revealed that between January and May of 2016, 1,762 water and mosquito-borne disease cases were reported but this year till May, the number fell to 809, a drop of 54%.

In the first five months of 2016, as many as 114 dengue cases were recorded but this year cases decreased to 37. There has been a fall of 71% in the reporting of mosquito-borne diseases. Similarly, in the same period in 2016, Mumbai reported 1,628 malaria cases which plunged to 753 this year.

The city recorded 19 cases of leptospirosis till May 2020 compared to 20 in 2016, in the first five months.

Health officials said that drop in construction activities could have reduced malaria and other vector-borne diseases. “The movement of people during lockdown has been restricted by 90%, which helped to control their exposure to mosquito breeding spots. People aren’t going to parks and playing grounds. Due to restriction on construction sites, discarded items that hold water have decreased,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.

As the civic body is expecting a rise in the number of mosquito-borne diseases during monsoon, they have prepared non-Covid hospitals for treatment of such patients. “Patients with dengue, malaria or leptospirosis will be sent to peripheral hospitals along with KEM (King Edward Memorial) Hospital,” added Kakani.

Symptoms of coronavirus infection, malaria, dengue and fever are similar, especially fever. This often causes panic and confusion among patients and physicians.

“Before getting the swab test report, we can identify the patients with other symptoms which are uncommon in dengue or malaria, like loss of taste or smell, discolouration of fingers and toes. Also, an X-Ray helps in getting a quick check into the condition of lungs,” said Dr Lancelot Pinto, an epidemiologist at Hinduja Hospital.

But on previous occasions, doctors have encountered patients coinfected with Covid-19 and dengue. Dr Om Srivastava, an epidemiologist, who is part of the state task force for Covid-19, said, “We have received a few cases where a Covid-19 patient also had dengue. In such cases, the health complications further increase.”

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021