Dengue cases no reason to panic: MCD officials

Civic bodies continue to say disease is still not epidemic

Total number of dengue cases in Delhi crossed the mark of 1,800 with 37 new cases, evoking concern among people about it assuming epidemic proportions.

 Municipal corporation officials, however, reassure that there is no need to panic.
Officials also said it is a widespread myth that smoke of crackers kills mosquitoes and brings cases of vector-borne diseases down.

“Every year we hear number of dengue patients reduce after Diwali. But this year till now, many people I know are falling ill due to dengue. It is creating a scare now,” said Rahul Tripathi, resident of south Delhi’s Gautam Nagar area.

This is the highest number since 2007, barring 2010 when dengue became an epidemic.
“The cycle of dengue taking epidemic proportions is four years. This means after 2010, it should reappear as a major threat in 2014,” said Dr Vikas Bajpayee, a health expert.

The officials of municipal corporations, however, are still not ready to intensify the fight against the disease and its carrier mosquitoes.

“This is not a dangerous situation. Going by the trends, we will not have a big problem this year,” said N K Yadav, municipal health officer, South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
An official said, situation will be termed dangerous only after the mark of 4,000 has been crossed.

Yadav said there are many criteria which are used to determine the level of danger associated with dengue spread.

“We consider environmental and population factors to see if the situation has to be termed dangerous,” he said adding that environmental factors include the amount of rainfall in the year, will be considered.

As the population of Delhi has increased over the past few years, the average of last few years is not enough to judge the situation.

Meanwhile, the officials also said that the myth of cracker smoke helping kill the mosquitoes should be busted. “Crackers create pollution, but at least they kill mosquitoes,” said Satish Kumar, resident of Uttam Nagar, West Delhi.

Doctors say it is due to onset of cold weather, and not smoke, that the number of mosquitoes reduces.

“Usually chill in the weather increases post-Diwali and hence the number of mosquitoes reduces. Thus, dengue cases also go down. It is a wrong understanding that the smoke kills the mosquitoes,” said Dr K K Chaudhary, MHO, East DMC.

Dr Anil Bansal of Indian Medical Association said morning temperatures come down to 15-16 degree celsius which mosquitoes cannot bear and die. He says this has nothing to do with smoke.

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