Pune and Mumbai have registered the highest number of deaths due to dengue this year. Out of 34 deaths across the state, there were 17 deaths in Greater Mumbai and 12 in Pune. Last year, there were 27 deaths due to dengue, with state health officials blaming the intermittent rains after Diwali for the high number of dengue and chikungunya cases.
Out of 1.5 lakh suspected cases of dengue this year in the state, health officials examined serum samples of 49,702 patients. “We found a high rate of positivity and at least 6,894 persons tested positive for dengue this year,” Dr M S Diggikar, Joint director of Health, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express. Last year, there were 1.14 lakh suspected cases and 6,544 persons had tested positive for dengue.
This year, the maximum number of cases of dengue and chikungunya are from Pune. According to Pune Municipal Corporation officials, a total of 1,575 persons have tested positive for dengue this year while 873 persons have been detected with chikungunya. There have been five deaths in the city while another six deaths were reported in Pune rural areas and one death in Pimpri Chinchwad. Last year, there were two deaths — one in Pune city and the other in Pune rural areas. Mumbai too registered seven deaths last year.
Between January and November, Mumbai registered 1,084 dengue cases, followed by 780 cases in Nashik and 446 cases in Pimpri Chinchwad. The smallest accumulation of water is sufficient for this vector aedes aegypti, state surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said. “It could be water in a discarded tea cup or coconut shell, the aedes aeqgypti mosquito can breed here. While climactic conditions are also favourable for the increase in number of breeding sites, state health officials said people’s participation was crucial to control this vector.
Dr Kalpana Baliwant, in-charge of insect control department at the PMC, said they had registered a total of 21 suspected dengue deaths this year. “We have confirmed that five persons died due to the virus,” Baliwant said. Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital has ruled out the possibility that the ten-year-old girl from Bibvewadi, who passed away on December 2, died due to dengue.
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health officials reported another suspected dengue death of a 28-year-woman from Erandwane on Monday. “We will have to submit the data of suspected dengue deaths to the audit committee which then confirms whether or not they died of dengue,” Baliwant added.
The PMC assistant medical officer said that the surveillance measures were being strengthened and fogging will be undertaken in areas where maximum cases have been detected. For instance, out of 30 new cases detected in the first week of December, the maximum cases were from areas like Nagar Road, Dhole Patil Road, Ghole Road, Bhawani Peth and Kasba Peth. “Our teams have carried out anti-larval measures at over 28 lakh residential and commercial buildings and another 2.9 lakh government buildings from June till November end this year,” Baliwant said.