Sudden Spike in Dengue Cases in Bengaluru Worries Municipal Authority


Bengaluru: Data from Karnataka's Family and Health welfare services shows a sudden spurt in the number of dengue cases registered, leaving the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) ​worried. Areas within the municipal body's jurisdiction have seen 5,352 cases since the beginning of this year.

In first the 20 days of August alone, over 1500 cases have been registered in various private and government hospitals in Bengaluru. On a daily basis, around 500 cases are being being reported, with 417 between August 17 and 19.

The numbers indicate a ten-fold increase when compared to data from July 2018, when only 313 cases of dengue were recorded in the state capital. The BBMP has cited intermittent rainfall and shortage of water as the main causes for rise in numbers this years.

"We are seeing an increased number of cases in Bengaluru, mostly because we are witnessing intermittent rains, secondly the water crisis has led to people storing water in drums outside their homes, which if left uncovered act as breeding ground for mosquitoes. We have started a door-to-door campaign to raise awareness on the matter", said BBMP Chief Health Officer, Dr BK Vijendra.​

As many as 61 wards in the city out of the total 198 that have reported 10 cases of the mosquito-borne disease in a single day are being monitored closely by the municipal body.

Bengaluru's east zone alone has seen over 2,000 cases while the number for dengue diagnoses strands at 3,397 for the rest of the state as of August 23. Ward number 80 or Hoyasalanagar in the city's CV Raman Nagar area has registered the highest number of cases.

The BBMP has been criticized for having woken out of its slumber only after 2 deaths were reported in the Bangalore Urban region and a total of 6 deaths in the state.

The shoddy waste collection system has got activist up in arms, however, the civic body has said that disease-control programs will need active peoples participation in order to make a difference.

"Dengue mosquitoes unlike malaria mosquitoes thrive in clear water, which is often found around human habitation, water collected inside the houses in AC ducts , refrigerator or flower pots need to be checked and emptied regularly. They also bite during the day, hence preventive measures like using mosquito repellents or long sleeved clothes should be done" Dr Vijendra mentions this to residents of the city as part of an awareness drive.

Research officer Sharif Victor, Health & Family Welfare services said that the staff crunch in the BBMP would affect the awareness campaign on-ground. He added that more will need to be done on an individual basis.

"Lack of human resource is mainly the problem, there is crunch in BBMP, Bengaluru has a population of around 1.2 crore people but there is no sufficient recruitment of health workers in the field who can visit each and every home, water shortage and bad waste management are the main reasons for dengue mosquitoes to breed and hence this spurt", he added.