Delhi is observing a slight uptick in the number of dengue cases, with 124 infections reported so far this year — the highest since 2018 when the city saw 137 cases. No death has been reported so far this year.
As per data collated by the MCD during the same period (January 1 to September 4), the city had seen 96 cases of the vector-borne disease in 2020 and 122 in 2019. Of the total cases this year, 72 have been reported in August, with the highest number from the South MCD.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle, and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash similar to measles. There are four types of dengue strains, and type II and IV are considered to be more severe and normally require hospitalisation.
According to doctors, there has been a surge in the last three-five days with several patients lining up with high fever and cough. Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, department of internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said: “Cases have gone up suddenly in the last few days. We are seeing patients between the age of 20 and 40 with high fever. However, severity is still low and no one requires hospitalisation at the moment. But with continuous rainfall in the city and water getting accumulated in many areas, cases are likely to go up.”
Usually, cases of vector-borne disease are reported between mid-July and November-end but depending on weather conditions, the period may stretch up to mid-December. Like every year, civic authorities have kicked off awareness drives at residential areas, public places, offices etc.
With Covid cases still being reported in the city, albeit below the 100 mark, experts feel it is important to stay cautious and follow hygiene protocol.
Dr Neeraj Nischal, associate professor, department of medicine, AIIMS, said: “Definitely, cases of dengue and other viral illnesses are on the rise. We have to make sure all hygiene standards are being met and people continue to follow social distancing. Dengue, too, has a potential to explode. If two infectious diseases become rampant, then the situation can be critical. People should continue wearing masks, ensure no mosquito breeding takes place, and keep their surroundings clean.”