Sporadic rain causes spurt in dengue cases across state

Dengue cases are rising in the state due to scanty rainfall.

The state has so far reported 3,785 dengue cases this year and the numbers are only going up, say doctors.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area with 2,257 cases and Dakshina Kannada district with 255 positive cases have reported the highest numbers this season. Besides, Hassan, Kalaburagi and Shivamogga have also reported a high number of cases.

Unlike in previous years, this year’s increase is seen for extended periods and experts attribute this to poor rainfall.

Ideally, regions that have reported many cases receive heavy rainfall in July. This year, scanty rainfall has become a cause for concern in these regions besides drought. In the usual scenario, Dakshina Kannada district sees heavy rainfall, which washes away puddles that otherwise act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

This year, however, the sporadic rains have left the district with several puddles and minor water collection spots where mosquitoes breed, say officials from the department of health and family welfare.

Dr Prakash Kumar, deputy director, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme said, “There is an unusual situation in Dakshina Kannada district. The sporadic rains have caused to waterlogging in front of houses, particularly the apartments,” he said.

He explained, “If there are continuous rains like usual, the larvae are washed away. Dakshina Kannada and Udupi are suitable for the survival of the mosquitoes and the humid conditions are favourable and the longevity of mosquitoes is also good here.”

The department of health is also redeploying ASHA workers from rural areas to visit urban areas on the first and third Friday of every month for source reduction and surveillance.

“We are involving nursing and pharmacy students as well. Four mobile teams have been deployed here to visit apartments every week,” said Dr Kumar.

Dr Rajeshwari Devi, medical superintendent, Wenlock Hospital said, “We are seeing an influx of patients with fever. We have six cases now and all are stable. Around 60% of the admissions into the medical department are now for fever,” she said.

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