Dengue cases rise by 40% in Maharashtra in past two years
Maharashtra stood third in the number of dengue deaths in the country this yearmumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 23:29 IST
Dengue cases in Maharashtra have seen a 40% increase between 2015 and 2017, says data released by the state health department.
Till December 10 this year, 6,894 people had been tested positive for dengue compared to 4,936 in 2015 and 6,792 in 2016. The number of deaths too jumped from 23 in 2015 to 33 in 2016 to 34 this year. Moreover, Maharashtra stood third in the number of dengue deaths in the country this year, after Tamil Nadu (52) and Kerala (37).
This is when 2015 had seen a considerable drop in dengue cases after 8,573 people being tested positive for dengue in 2014 and 54 of them dying.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state disease surveillance officer, said while district-wise data was not available, they have sure of a substantial rise in cases registered in Mumbai and Thane. “The rise in cases also means that there is better surveillance as compared to previous years,” he said.
Also, the unseasonal rainfall early this month may have led to a rise in mosquito breeding sites, he added. The weather bureau had said that major parts of the state saw an all-time high rainfall in December.
An official from the civic body’s insecticide department said it is a daunting task to identity all mosquito breeding spots as most are found in private properties — residential and commercial — which the health workers cannot access easily. “There are so many high-rises in the city. Until citizens don’t change their behaviour and realise the importance of not providing breeding grounds to mosquitoes around their households, it will be difficult to keep dengue in check,” the official said.
Doctors said they continue to treat dengue cases, even when there is no rainfall in the city. Dr Om Srivastava, city-based infectious disease specialist, said he is worried since in the past three years, although cases decrease during winters, there has never been a time when doctors haven’t got dengue cases for a long stretch of time. “Currently, four dengue patients are being treated under my supervision,” he said.