Mumbai: Between January and September 27, Mumbai witnessed the highest number of vector-borne diseases in the past five years. In the last nine months, Maharashtra recorded more than 20,000 cases of dengue and malaria. As per official statistics, 4,554 out of 10,978 malaria cases were detected in Mumbai followed by Gadchiroli (4,525). The cumulative caseload of both the districts accounts for 42% of the state tally.
Similarly, 10,553 dengue cases were reported during the same period; of which, Mumbai alone recorded 3,556 cases or 34% of total patients found across the state. Eight people succumbed to mosquito bites across Maharashtra while four cholera cases and a related death were registered in Nagpur. Last year, the state had witnessed six cholera deaths, which was the highest count to be recorded in a decade.
Sporadic rainfall the possible cause for surge in cases?
The BMC attributed the prevailing escalation in cases to sporadic rainfall, which creates favourable conditions for mosquito breeding. The public health department, however, didn't reveal how many people have lost their lives to malaria and dengue, so far, during monsoon. “Every year, there is a rise in vector-borne diseases, but this time it's the highest in five years. However, it's not alarming as only few patients required hospitalisation, while most dengue patients at the civic-run hospitals experienced mild to moderate illness. Around 10% of them faced complications such as abdominal fluid accumulation, severe thrombocytopenia leading to bleeding from the nose, skin or gums and respiratory problems,” said a senior health official who did not wish to be named.
Officials cite several reasons for soaring malaria and dengue cases
Senior officials from the state health department cited several factors behind the statewide surge in dengue and malaria cases. The ongoing construction work, stagnant water around the house, pet drinking bowls or dumped plastic containers where rainwater accumulates turn into mosquito breeding spots. Pratapsinh Sarnikar, joint director of health services, said, “Most cases are reported in urban pockets of the state. We have issued orders to all local bodies to conduct containment activities and disease surveillance in their areas.”
“A state-level squad is currently in the (outbreak-affected) districts to investigate the rising vector borne cases and provide appropriate guidance. However, we have also urged citizens not to self medicate and visit nearby hospitals if they have any symptoms or diseases,” said a senior health official.
Total no. of cases recorded in state
Count of malaria cases
Count of dengue cases
No. of fatalities due to mosquito bites
No. of cholera cases; death