Updated: June 5, 2021 8:19:46 am
WHILE MAHARASHTRA recorded a very high rate of Covid infections in the second wave this year, another viral disease, dengue, has shown a significant dip in the past five months.
The state has recorded only half the dengue cases it did in the corresponding period last year. As per the state health department officials, only 530 cases of dengue were detected in Maharashtra from January to May this year, while the number for this duration last year was 1,007.
With Covid slowing down in the state in recent weeks, the state health department machinery is keeping a close watch on diseases spread by mosquitoes.
State Entomologist Dr Mahendra Jagtap said while the focus has been on Covid surveillance for the past two years, this year they have found fewer cases of dengue and chikungunya. He added that though Covid testing assumed priority, they were closely monitoring the vector-borne diseases’ prevalence.
“We are keeping a close watch on diseases spread by mosquitoes. Due to pre-monsoon showers and heavy rain, most breeding sites may have been washed away. We will get a better picture by June end, and ahead of that, several container surveys and preventive measures are being taken,” Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said. As per the health department data, in 2020, there were total 3,356 cases of dengue and 782 cases of chikungunya across the state. Pune had reported 183 cases last year (January-December), while this year from January to May, there were 34 cases in the district with 12 being from the city areas.
Nashik at 337 and Kolhapur at 380 cases had the highest numbers last year, according to state health department data. This year, Nashik has reported 43 dengue cases from January to May, and Kolhapur has identified 42 dengue cases in the same period. Yavatmal has 63 dengue cases from January to May this year, while Mumbai has reported 36 cases.
There were 782 cases of chikungunya reported from January to December last year, of which, 263 were in the January-May period. This year, there were 215 cases of chikungunya from January-May.
Pune Municipal Corporation Health Chief Dr Sanjeev Wavare said they too were in the process of hiring manpower to launch awareness campaigns on dengue, apart from initiating spraying and fogging operations.
“Container surveys will be taken up, while people will be asked not to allow water to stagnate in any container in and around their homes to prevent breeding of mosquitoes,” Dr Wavare said.
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