Ahmedabad saw a 45% rise in dengue cases with 4,535 cases in 2019 compared to 2018.(Photo by Thinkstock Photos)
Written by Aboli Vaze
As many as 50 dengue cases were reported in the first two weeks of the year in Ahmedabad. However, they are not on the “rising side”, according to Dr Bhavin Solanki, Medical Officer Health, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
Health officials attribute the extended life cycle of mosquitoes to the erratic rainfall pattern in 2019. Ahmedabad saw a 45% rise in dengue cases with 4,535 cases in 2019 compared to 2018.
“The number of days it rained in 2019 was quite high as compared to the previous year, favouring the mosquitoes. Almost all the cases reported last year were of type 3 dengue virus, for which mortality is on the lower side but infection is comparatively higher... Rapid urbanisation is another factor with basements of buildings and construction sites turning breeding grounds,” Solanki said. Thirteen people died due to dengue in 2019, while four died in 2018.
Dr Dinkar Raval, deputy director, epidemic division of the state health department, also attributed the rise in dengue cases in 2019 to the prolonged monsoon and other weather conditions favourable for mosquito breeding. He said, “Unless all departments, including forest and pollution control, join hands with the health department, not much can be done because vector biology depends on the environment. Unfortunately, we are providing an environment conducive for mosquito breeding.”
Pointing out that there should be an increase in awareness among people, he said, “People need to be aware that these mosquitoes do not fly for more than 100 to 200 metres, so if there is dengue infection, the breeding ground will probably be in the house or neighbourhood.”
Other vector-borne diseases such as malaria, however, decreased by 34% in 2019, compared to 2018. As many as 6,511 cases and two deaths were reported in 2018, while 4,304 cases and two deaths were reported in 2019. For chikungunya, 181 and 194 cases were reported in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
(The writer is an intern with The Indian Express)