BMC report shows no sign of dengue cases declining

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 29 Oktober 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The incidence of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease, across Mumbai is not showing any signs of reducing, indicates the BMC weekly health report.

Worryingly, this is despite several fatalities following which the authorities have woken up and are trying to raise awareness to stop the breeding of mosquitoes.

The latest weekly report, issued a day after news of dengue claiming a KEM hospital resident doctor, showed that 40 patients had tested positive in the fourth week of October in civic hospitals alone. The figure has been hovering at 40-50 patients each week at civic hospitals for the last two months.

The private sector has reported an outbreak of sorts through September and October, but no figures are available.

South and central Mumbai have had more cases than the suburbs, said BMC's epidemiology officer Dr Mangala Gomare. "We have had cases from Mazgaon, Byculla, Dadar, Worli as well as Bandra." A spurt was also noted in Goregaon in western Mumbai and Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs, she added.

BMC officials blamed the weather and Mumbai's citizens for prolonging the dengue misery. "Dengue-spreading mosquitoes (Aedes Aegypti) breed well in humid weather when the temperature is between 18 and 40 degrees," said BMC's chief insecticide officer R Naringekar. Mumbai thus makes for ideal breeding grounds till mid-November. Dr Gomare said dengue cases could drop next week if the temperatures fall.

The weather disadvantage has been compounded by the Mumbaikars' lack of cleanliness. "A few days ago, our officials got a call from a Bandra housing colony that had a dengue case. On surveying the building, we found hundreds of larvae in potted plants. One family had kept a coconut with a green shoot in a bucket of water that was buzzing with Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes," Naringekar added.

KEM Hospital dean Dr Shubhangi Parkar, who held a meeting with civic engineers, complained that relatives of patients keep throwing styrofoam cups everywhere. "Our cleanliness teams say they have to clear cups every half an hour," she said. Dengue mosquitoes can breed even in small amounts of water in cups.

The insecticide team visited KEM, Sion and Nair hospitals and hostels on Tuesday. Doctors from these three have tested positive for dengue. "We have told the dean water-logging within and around the hospital and hostels should be cleared immediately,'' said Dr M Baviskar, the MARD representative at KEM. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has also sought separate beds for doctors who fall ill on duty.

On Sunday, Shruti Khobragade (23) from KEM Hospital's anaesthesia department succumbed to dengue within a week of diagnosis. A survey of her hostel revealed two breeding spots -- the "nanhi" trap of a sink and a bucket of water in the ladies common room.

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