Free Press Journal

Mumbai: City records highest Dengue deaths in last 3 years


Mumbai: Even as several parts of India are in the grip of severe dengue outbreaks, the city had recorded the highest number of dengue death in last three years across the state with 14 deaths from 788 total cases, data from civic body revealed. Officials said that the figure is high large due to decentralised medical resources and lack of awareness in people to look for medical intervention close to their home.

Doctors said that the case mortality ratio, which defines the number of deaths per positive cases, has been the highest this year due to dengue. In 2015, seven deaths had taken place against 917 cases. In the subsequent year, the city had reported seven deaths per 1180 deaths. In 2016 two deaths were reported behind 941 cases.

However, in 2017, 14 deaths were reported as against 788 cases reported positive this year due to dengue. Official said that over 10 casualties are residents of the city and not those who had come come to Mumbai for treatment. The health experts said as in some cases of dengue there has been a change in pathogens due to which two people in Pune succumb due to dengue as they showed symptoms of neurological complications and brain haemorrhage.

“There is a change in the behaviour of the pathogen but we cannot say it for sure because there is no scientific study to prove so. But observations have revealed that the virus has become more virulent, we are studying the exact cause of the same currently,” said a public health official.

Officials said that while the involvement of kidneys, gut, and spine was unusual in past which has been noticed in recent times. Moreover, patients with involvement of such multi-organ infection of dengue are less likely to survive. “Dengue has become a major healthcare challenge in our country. In recent times, incidence of neurological complications of dengue is on the rise. The doctors should look for early symptoms and signs of their complication and take appropriate measures at the earliest,” said Dr Bhujang.

The official of the civic health department said that most of the areas have large corporate offices, under construction sites apart from the residential pockets where breeding is found. “The numbers are more as compared to the city because of the presence of tertiary care hospitals in the area which reports cases from other cities as well,” added senior official.

The infectious disease consultant said all infections end up playing with immunity and the immune system ultimately decides how to respond to treatment, comorbidity, and complications. “The doctors said since there is no specific medication for dengue, people, apart from mosquito prevention, are supposed to consume plenty of liquid and take enough rest in case of a positive diagnosis,” added Dr Om Shrivastav.

A member of public health committee of the civic body said that the key is awareness which lacks still in majority of the population. ’As compared to last year, city’s epidemiology cell has achieved better results in 2017. Data for Mumbai will always remain the highest because unlike other districts, reportage of cases or deaths is followed strictly in the city,’ said the officials on the condition of anonymity.

Also read: Mumbai: Cases of bronchitis, asthma may increase due to weather change, say doctors

However, health experts have warned people to not ignore the cough, cold and persistent fever and immediately seek medical intervention in the light of increasing number of dengue deaths and cases.

As it turns out, an analysis of the health impacts of climate change published by The Lancet earlier this week cited climate change as a potential factor for the rise in dengue cases. According to another study published in the same journal, the number of dengue cases has doubled every decade since 1990, with India being no exception. Between 2010 and 2016, India has recorded a 356 per cent increase in dengue cases, according to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).