August 30, 2021 2:08:49 am
Chikungunya cases reported in Ahmedabad city have seen a spike of more than three-and-a-half times compared to last year.
Against the 71 cases reported till August 2020, this year till August 22, 250 cases have been reported at both public and private health care facilities.
Majority of these cases were reported in the months of January, July and August with 61, 54 and 67 cases, respectively.
This hike in number of Chikungunya cases was not substantial previous year as it increased from 59 in 2019 (till August) to 71 in 2020 (till August), reveals the data maintained by the Malaria epidemic cell of health department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Looking at other vector-borne diseases, while the cases of malaria declined in last two years from a massive 2,820 reported till August 2019, which drastically reduced to 310 in 2020 and 341 in 2021 till August 22 so far, the number of Chikungunya and Dengue cases has been on an increase.
The rate of increase in Chikungunya cases has even left the authorities to look at reasons for this trend and ways to curb it. “Among the weekly cases of vector-borne diseases, nearly 70 per cent cases are reported to be of Chikungunya. Against the increase in Dengue cases, the number of Chikungunya cases is much more comparatively. Though the spread is through the same aedes mosquito it is not clear why Chikungunya cases are on such an increase,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, Medical Officer of Health, AMC.
The number of dengue cases declined from 557 in 2019 to 205 in 2020 (till August) before it again increased by nearly 100 cases this year. As many as 302 dengue cases have been reported from the city till August 22. Also, no deaths were reported in 2020 and this year against one in 2019 in the first eight months of the year.
Looking at the uncontrolled spread of vector-borne diseases reported more from the western parts of the city, the AMC has roped in school children to undertake a household survey. All school students, of both government and private, will be shared a form with a format to check all possible mosquito breeding grounds and submit the same to the school.
“This exercise has been launched in order to spread awareness among residents. It is very difficult for the authorities to completely remove breeding sites, creating awareness among people on these breeding sites and how keeping a check on it can help in controlling the spread of vector borne diseases,” Dr Solanki said.
Though past over malaria’s peak season, however, the city is still at a threat of Dengue and Chikungunya in the months of September, October and November as these are the peak season for breeding of aedes mosquito.
Looking at the previous year’s trends, the months of September, October and November in 2020 reported the highest cases-125, 291 and 226, respectively.
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