Mumbai reports highest number of dengue cases in state

State health department data however gives a breather to the city as increased awareness among people has drastically reduced the number of people succumbing to it

This year’s data on dengue released by the state health department brings relief as well as concern for Mumbai in terms of vector borne diseases. While the figures released by the state’s health department shows that Mumbai has recorded highest number of dengue cases in the last six years, the number of people succumbing to the infection has reduced. The report also stated that the city has recorded highest number of dengue cases in the state.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) however believes it is the increased awareness that has led to rise in detection of dengue cases in the city.

“Because of increased awareness, number of people seeking medical help has improved. Also, due to improved prognosis, less number of people have succumbed to the disease,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer in BMC.

Mumbai has recorded 1,088 cases this year and four confirmed deaths. In 2015, the city had recorded 919 dengue cases and eight deaths. The last time dengue cases had crossed the 1,000 mark was in 2012 and five deaths were reported.

Private practitioners, too, agree with the BMC claims on improved prognosis.

“Many of my patients have themselves got the test done. While we are seeing a high number of dengue cases this year, awareness has definitely contributed to the rise in numbers who are taking precaution,” said Dr Pratit Samdhani, general physician, Jaslok hospital.

This year, the government had included dengue as a notifiable disease. “It is mandatory for private practitioners and laboratories to report every dengue case to the government. This can also be a reason for rise in dengue numbers compared to last year,” said a state health official.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito’s breeding spots are being found in stagnant fresh water. Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.

“We are still seeing a high number of dengue cases, people should keep in mind that symptoms appear three to 14 days after the bite of the infected mosquito. Symptoms range from a mild fever to an incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. It is important to maintain hydration,” said Samdhani.