Tips To Prevent Dengue: Dengue And Chikungunya On A Steady Rise
Nearly 150 cases of chikungunya have been reported in Delhi so far this year, with 9 of them being recorded this month, even as government authorities gear up to combat the outbreak of these two vector-borne diseases.
In 2016, 20 deaths were reported due to dengue.
- 105 cases of chikungunya, 50 cases of dengue have been reported so far
- The virus dissipates due to damp weather.
- The government has adopted a three pronged strategy.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by one of the many closely related dengue viruses. According to WHO, Approximately 2.5 billion people live in dengue-risk regions with about 100 million new cases each year worldwide. The cumulative dengue diseases burden has attained an unprecedented proportion in recent times with sharp increase in the size of human population at risk. Dengue disease presents highly complex pathophysiological, economic and ecologic problems.
India also saw a doubling up of cases of dengue from 2014 to 2015 and the worst hit city was Delhi with over 16,000 cases of the dengue fever with 60 odd deaths, and in 2016, 500 dengue cases and 12221 chikungunya cases with 20 deaths.
Also read: 7 Most Effective Home Remedies For Chikungunya
A latest report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which collates data for all the three corporations from Delhi, shows that between January 1 and June 17, 105 cases of chikungunya, 50 cases of dengue and 59 cases of malaria have been reported. Experts say that Delhi could face worse than last year's outbreak on dengue and chikungunya.
In the same period last year, zero cases of chikungunya, five of dengue and 38 cases of malaria were reported. In fact, the figures this year are higher than the trends since 2013, when only one case of chikungunya was reported between January 1 and June 17.
Also read: Gearing Up For Dengue, Chikungunya: Here's All You Need To Know
The season of breeding generally picks up in September, after the monsoon, and reaches its peak in October-November. The spate of early intermittent showers observed this year may have ushered in the diseases sooner than usual this year. Experts explained that once the temperature dips leading to damp weather, there's stagnant water in pen drains and any water stored in the household bathrooms, kitchens and coolers, the virus dissipates. This might mean that we are headed for higher number of cases through the year and chances of higher fatalities.
On May 13, Kejriwal had chaired a high-level meeting of officers from the three municipal corporations, civic bodies, medical superintendents of hospitals and his ministers to review and discuss plans for dealing with dengue and chikungunya in the national capital."Delhi will be made mosquito-free. We will have to get rid of mosquito-borne diseases. It will be made a people's movement. It is only possible with people's participation," Kejriwal had tweeted.
Must read: Early Arrival Of Dengue: Symptoms, Risks And Prevention
He had also written to Union Health minister J P Nadda, requesting him to reserve 10 % of the beds in the Central government-run hospitals for the treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients after which Lt Governor Anil Baijal on April 29 directed Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital to keep beds ready for dengue and chikungunya patients as strategy to prepare themselves before the number of cases increase. CM also asked him to conduct research to seek some measures either to get rid of this virus or some effective treatment of these diseases.
The Union health ministry is said to have adopted a three pronged strategy to beat mosquito-borne diseases this time.
1. First is the preventive measure. All the civic and local bodies are asked to identify breeding spots and control them. All MCDs have been directed to submit weekly reports on what actions they have taken.
2. Second is to fumigate and destroy mosquito-genic conditions
3. Third, all Delhi government hospitals have been earmarked with 750 beds only for dengue and chikungunya patients. Also, private hospitals, dispensaries and clinics have been asked to increase 10 per cent beds.
Dr Jagdish Prasad, director general of health service (DGHS) at the Union health ministry says, "It was the failure of civic bodies and the Delhi government who are entrusted with managing vector-borne diseases. Citing the latest statistics, they fear the worst dengue and chikungunya outbreak in Delhi so far. The Centre has written to the Delhi government over its preparedness before it assumes epidemic proportions."
"The season for vector-borne diseases begins from mid-July and generally lasts till November-end, but still the cases are seen in alarming propositions in the summer months which should not happen and shows lack of preparedness," he added.
Despite all the measures being taken by the government to tackle this problem, the main motive is to create awareness among the people. This will help in countering the diseases at the grass root level.
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