As monsoon proceeded towards its commencement in April this year, there was a relief from mosquitoes causing dengue and malaria, but the city seems to be under the web of dengue fever yet again as the monsoon showers drench the city.
With the advancement of monsoon in April 2016, people in Delhi started complaining about the increasing number of mosquitoes but the residents in the capital were at relief from the ones which spread dengue and malaria. However, Delhi is now exposed to the flies, which can spread dengue and other diseases.
The revived fear of these diseases is linked to stagnant water. 28 dengue cases as of June 25, 2016, were recorded in the city. This is higher than the figures recorded in the same period in the past five years from 2011 to 2015. According to experts, there may be another dengue outbreak in Delhi if steps are not taken well in time, to curb mosquito breeding.
“As there is no specific drug and vaccine, prevention is the only strategy for dengue,” a senior scientist at the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) said.
As per NVBDCP forecasts, there are increased mosquitogenic conditions this year in view of the current weather patterns. Light rain and high level of humidity prevalent in Delhi and many other states are conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes.
“Once monsoon arrives in North India, there could be more mosquitos breeding because of stagnation of water. Hence, we have issued advisory to all states to take preventive measures,” a health ministry official said.
Repelling the breeding of dengue virus
The public health division of Delhi government has formed a special cell to fight dengue. Meetings were held with representatives of Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) and another meeting was scheduled with civic body officials on June 29, 2016 to discuss the prevention measures. “We are ready to tackle patient rush, if any. We will roll out the emergency plan when the need arises,” said Dr Tarun Seem, health secretary, Delhi government.
The Union health ministry came up with a mobile app ‘India Fights Dengue’ through which people can learn about the disease, preventive measures and facilities for treatment in different regions.
The civic bodies have been actively working since February to survey and penalise households and offices where mosquito breeding was detected. Last year Delhi witnessed an epidemic-like situation with over 10,000 dengue cases in the city. Maintaining clean surroundings, using mosquito repellents , not allowing water collection, cleaning drains and appropriately covering ones body to protect against mosquitoes are some of the measures that must be taken by people to stay safe this monsoon.