Officials say dengue not epidemic yet

Officials say dengue not epidemic yet

Vector-borne disease numbers continue to rise, to hit 1,000 mark

 The total number of dengue cases in the city this season is inching towards the 1,000 mark. With 38 new cases reported on Sunday, and 32 cases reported on Saturday, the total number of the vector-borne disease has risen to 910.

But officials continue to deny that the figures are not alarming and the disease cannot be declared as an epidemic.

“To determine what is a lot and what is not, we have to have a method. If we take the average of the last five years, then the cases till now are much lower,” said Dr N K Yadav, municipal health officer, South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The average of number of dengue cases till October 20 each year from 2007 to 2011 is 1334.6. The total number of confirmed dengue patients till October 20 this year was 617. According to officials, since it was less than half the average, the picture does not look dismal.

However, 2010 alone had 4,747 cases in this period and dengue was considered an epidemic in the city then, claiming eight lives.

If this year is not considered, then the average of other four years comes to only 481. With 617 cases in that timeframe, this year’s figures signals a crisis. It has to be considered that nearly 300 cases were reported in the last eight days alone, taking the total to 910.

“It is normal that these months see a rise in dengue cases every year. The numbers start to drop from the first week of November. Some cases are likely to come in December too, which is usual,” said Dr Yadav.

The worst affected are South Corporation areas with 335 reported cases, followed by north Delhi with 297 and east Delhi 234.

“South Delhi is comparatively a cleaner area. As dengue mosquitoes breed in clean water, it has the highest number of cases,” said a health official. Cases in New Delhi Municipal Council areas are going up with 22 being registered so far.

Dengue cases till October 20

* 2007: 318
* 2008: 969
* 2009: 136
* 2010: 4,747
* 2007: 503
* 2007: 617

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