Dengue, malaria threat looms large in capital

Doctors advise against taking fever lightly

Threats of diseases like dengue and malaria loom large over parts of Delhi that were flooded in the first spell of monsoon and the rise in the Yamuna water level, health experts warned on Saturday.

“With stagnant water all around, threat of diseases like dengue, malaria and other vector-borne ones is high in Delhi,” said Sushum Sharma, head of department of internal medicine at Max Hospital, Gurgaon.

“The aedes mosquito, which carries dengue, breed in clean water. So with so much waterlogging, the threat of dengue raising its head again is high,” Sharma said.

Awareness campaign

Admitting the threat, North Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner P K Gupta said the civic agency will soon start its campaign to educate people on precautions against these diseases.

“Rain has just come, now we will start the process of issuing advertisements, hand bills and radio publicity to make people aware,” said Gupta. “However, the process of fumigation is on. House-to-house checking of mosquito breeding is also being looked after. Till now there has been no major case of dengue and malaria,” he added.

B S Vohra, representative of mega Delhi residents’ welfare association, said the process of fumigation started a little late. “Fumigation is being done by corporations, but unfortunately it started after a few cases of dengue were reported,” he said.

Doctors suggested that precautionary measures should be adopted by people to avoid dengue and malaria. “The only way is to avoid mosquito bite,” said Navneet Kaur, internal medicine specialist at Nova Speciality Surgery.

“Apply mosquito repellent cream on all body parts. Aedes mosquitoes don’t fly very high, so parts of foot and lower parts of body are the zones where they attack,” Kaur said.

Avoid self-medication

Sharma added that fever should not be taken lightly and self-medication should be avoided. “The main characteristics of dengue fever is that suddenly you will have high fever. It is accompanied by body ache, specially in the lower back,” said Sharma.

“Rashes appear only on the fifth day of the fever,” she said. “Anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided. Paracetamol can be taken, and a doctor should be consulted immediately,” he added.

Six malaria cases have been reported from Delhi so far in June, while 13 cases recorded in May. Seven cases of dengue have been reported from the capital this season. In 2012, at least 2,093 cases of dengue were reported in Delhi.

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