Scanty rain a cause of rise in dengue cases

Most cases come from densely populated South and East Bengaluru

The city has seen a spurt in dengue cases recently. Healthcare experts cite various reasons for this phenomenon and ask Bengalureans to be cautious. 

Among the reasons cited is the insufficient monsoon showers. Usually, continuous rains wash away stagnant water collected near sites, which prevents mosquitoes from breeding, says Dr Mahesh Kumar, consultant-internal medicine, Narayana Health City. 

Usually, stagnant water gets collected near construction sites and roads. “There is a sudden spurt in number of dengue cases in the last three weeks. Normally, there should have been heavy showers during this time of the year but that is not the case now,” he says.

He adds that in 2018, it rained a lot which stopped a dengue outbreak. He notes that continuous rains for 7 to 10 days will wash out the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. 

Dr Mahesh says, “In the last week, we have received more than 100 cases. A high number of these patients are mostly from South Bengaluru areas like Electronics City and Ananth Nagar, and East Bengaluru like Mahadevapura, Whitefield etc. Dengue cases are connected to areas which are densely populated and have a lot of construction activity.”

The patients are mostly between 18 to 40 years old who go outdoors regularly.

“Manual labourers, workers at construction sites and engineers are the most affected ones,” he adds. 

Dr Saad Hafeez Usmani, consultant - internal medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield, says that most of the patients he gets nowadays are afflicted by dengue.

“Hospitals are running out of beds and doctors are working till 1 am. The number of patients needing a transfusion has also gone up,” he says.

He warns that even if the fever of an infected person reduces, their platelet level could continue dropping which is dangerous.

“Symptoms for this are not always visible. There are patients who have no fever at all but their platelet count might have dropped to 23,000.” The normal platelet count for a healthy person ranges from 1,50,000 to 4,50,000.

Dr Brunda M S, consultant, internal medicine, Aster CMI Hospital, says that they have seen around 300 cases in the last month alone. “There are more patients from areas around lakes like Kempapura, Amrutahalli and Hebbal,” she says. 

Good food habits are a necessity to build immunity, she adds. “Most patients have low immunity which worsens the situation. A deficiency in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C makes it worse. One must stay hydrated and consume enough fruits and vegetables.”

Keep these in mind...

According to recent reports, BBMP has registered 1,041 dengue cases in the city over six months. While the civic body’s health department is planning to conduct surveys and identify areas where the virus is spreading rapidly, citizens are advised to take precautionary measures as prevention is always better than cure.

Metrolife lists out a few measures you can employ to protect yourself from the virus.

- Avoid visiting areas which have larger colonies of mosquitoes.

- Avoid water stagnation: Make sure to turn empty pots and buckets upside down to prevent water from accumulating and stagnating.

- Apply mosquito repellent creams on exposed areas of your body. Using lavender oil as a natural room freshener or apply it on your skin to keep mosquitoes at bay.

PS: Make sure to keep it away from your eyes.

- Always use a mosquito net while sleeping. Cover windows with netting or screens and look for mosquitoes hidden behind curtains.

- Mosquitoes hide in dark corners. Make sure your house is well-lit.

- Go natural: Shut all the doors and windows and light camphor in a room. Let the smoke stay for about fifteen to twenty minutes. It kills the pests that spread diseases. Plant a Tulsi shrub near your window to keep mosquitoes away. The plant has properties that prevent them from entering your house.

Avoid over-watering plants: Keep the flower pots clean and make sure there is no stagnant water.

Check for damp areas: Frequently examine the bottom of your refrigerator, kitchen slabs and racks for mosquitoes. Always keep toilet bowls and trash bins covered and never let wet waste accumulate near your home.

More about Dengue

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. This viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness has symptoms that typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. Dengue is spread by several species of female mosquitoes of the Aedes type

 

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