Mumbai: Dengue cases on the rise butlose bite

There has been a 28% rise in July; however, health experts said that severity is less than last year; sometimes both dengue and malaria present together

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Saturday, July 30, 2022, 08:13 AM IST
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Social activist Ashok Kurmi dressed as mosquito visited Dharavi slums on Friday to spread awareness about cleanliness in the backdrop of rising dengue and malaria cases in the city. | BHUSHAN KOYANDE

Dengue cases in the city have risen by 28 per cent in July, as compared to the last month. As per civic data, 39 cases were reported in June, while 50 were reported in July. This year, 173 cases of this mosquito-borne viral disease have been recorded, which means an average of 25 cases every month since January.

Health officials said that dengue has been on the rise predominantly due to rainfall resulting in puddles that eventually become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the prime vectors for the transmission of this disease. The advisory in the wake of rising cases is not to self-medicate and consult a nearby BMC health post/dispensary/hospital immediately if there are symptoms like high fever, difficulty in breathing, or skin and lips turning blue.

A senior health official from the civic health department said that monsoon brings with it a deluge of infectious fevers such as malaria, dengue, leptospirosis, viral fevers and other waterborne infections caused by contaminated water. Cases of chikungunya are also on the rise, as they share the vector, Aedes aegypti, with dengue. All these infections present with fever, body ache, myalgias, jaundice, joint pains, and diarrhea, to name a few symptoms.

“Though most patients have mild illness and recover, some may have an ominous presentation like severe jaundice, kidney involvement, haemorrhagic manifestations, thrombocytopenia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or altered sensorium. Certain serotypes of dengue are associated with complications and severity, or serotype 2,” the official said.

Dr Umang Agrawal, infectious diseases consultant at PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, said that most of the time dengue can resolve by itself; however, there are certain warning signs that one needs to watch out for. These include abdominal pain,nausea, vomiting, excessive bleeding from any orifice and breathlessness. These are basically the signs of your blood getting concentrated and its management remains conservative with consumption of plenty of fluids. In certain cases those with the warning signs described might require hospitalisation.

Dr Harish Chafle, senior consultant in pulmonology and critical care at Global Hospital, Parel, said waterborne and vector-borne diseases are on the rise, to the extent that the numbers are touching pre-Covid times when people moved around freely and were exposed to viruses more than during the various lockdowns.

Dr Chafle said, “There are also incidences where patients have been infected with both dengue and malaria.” He said that mosquitoes responsible for causing dengue survive in clean water with the habit of daytime bites.

“Water logging in low-lying areas provides a bed for mosquito breeding. Also water stored in drums, plates used to keep household decorative plants can also sometimes provide the same environment. Heavy rains have always been correlated with outbreaks. However, until now the severity of dengue cases is not as much as last year,” he said.

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