At least 650 fresh cases of dengue have been recorded in the third week of October in the national capital, taking the total number of people affected by the vector-borne disease this season to 5,870, according to a municipal report released today. The number of dengue cases reported this month till October 21 stands at 1,077. Five deaths in total have been reported so far, including two at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash (LNJP) Hospital in central Delhi. The mosquito-borne tropical disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) on August 1. 26-year-old Manipuri woman Rhoda Daimai, who was living in south Delhi’s Sarita Vihar, had died at the Holy Family Hospital in August, while 49-year-old Meena Devi, hailing from Bihar, died of dengue shock syndrome on September 2 at the SGRH, according to civic authorities. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which tabulates data for the entire city, however, has not acknowledged the fatalities at the LNJP Hospital, and kept the official toll at three. The number of malaria and chikungunya cases recorded in the city till the third week of October stood at 1,073 and 731 respectively, the report said. Of the total 5,870 dengue cases, 2,884 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states.
Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end. This year, however, it has been much earlier. Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. The female anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water. According to the SDMC, mosquito breeding has been reported from 1,92,746 households in Delhi this year till October 14. At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year from various city hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official figure of the civic bodies stood at 10.
Seventeen deaths, suspected to be due to malaria, were also reported by civic bodies last year. At least 15 fatalities were reported last year from various city hospitals due to complications triggered by chikungunya, though civic authorities kept the death tally at zero. One of the worst outbreaks of chikungunya was in 2016 when 12,221 cases were reported till December 24, 2016. Of these, 9,749 were confirmed.