Till October this year, dengue fever has infected as many as 8,573 people across the state, with Pune reporting the highest number of cases. Data from the state surveillance department also shows that the number of cases in September and October is higher than the number of cases in the same period last year.
In September last year, Maharashtra saw 2,047 dengue cases, but this year the number rose to 2,755 in the same month. Between October 1 and 21, there were 2,183 dengue cases, while there were 2,278 dengue cases in the entire month last year.
Of the 8,573 cases in Maharashtra, Pune reported 1,961 cases in the city, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural areas, Kolhapur saw 1,281 cases, Nashik 682 and Sangli 460. Across the state, a total of five deaths due to dengue have been confirmed.
Within Pune Municipal Corporation area, at least 943 dengue cases have been confirmed in the last three months, said officials.
A major reason for the higher number of cases is the continuous rain, which has created more mosquito breeding sites, said Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer.
Dengue is caused by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which breeds in stagnant water. Intermittent rains can pose a problem as water collects in shells or tyres and even discarded tea cups, which then need to be emptied as they turn into potential mosquito breeding sites.
While biological and chemical control measures have been undertaken, municipal officials have also started issuing notices to societies and slapping a fee on them over failure to destroy the breeding sites.
From January till date, a total of 5,143 dengue cases were suspected across the city, of which 1,095 tested positive for the viral fever, said Dr Sanjeev Wavare, assistant medical officer of health, PMC. “We have issued as many as 2,203 notices and levied an administrative fee to the tune of Rs 2.7 lakh,” said Wavare.
Seven suspected dengue deaths in Pune this year
A total of 11 suspected dengue deaths were reported from Pune city and rural areas this year. However, an audit committee that examines and ascertains the cause of death has ruled out dengue as the cause for four of these deaths. So far, one dengue death from Pune rural area has been confirmed, according to Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer. The final diagnosis of the remaining six deaths will be taken up soon at a meeting of Pune district health authorities.