Dengue Cases Piling Up, Outbreak Worst In Several Years: Delhi Hospital

Delhi logged 1,171 dengue cases in the first six days of November, after reporting only 1,196 through the whole of October and just 217 in September, according to PTI

In 2015, Delhi reported over 10,600 dengue cases in October alone (File)

New Delhi:

The dengue outbreak in Delhi is "far more as compared to the last two-three years", a senior doctor at the city's Ganga Ram Hospital told NDTV today, adding that "mortality too is on the rise".

Delhi logged 1,171 dengue cases from November 1-6, after reporting 1,196 through October and 217 in September (the highest for that month in three years), according to news agency PTI. 

In January, Delhi reported zero dengue cases. There were two in February, five in March, 10 in April, 12 in May, seven in June, 16 in July and seven in August.

The 2,708 cases reported so far is the most since 2018; cases between January 1 and October 30 was 612 in 2020, 1,069 in 2019, and 1,595 in 2018.

Delhi also reported three dengue deaths on Monday, taking the total number of deaths to nine - the most in a season since 2017, when ten people died.

"Around Diwali (and as winter sets in), when we expected to see cases decrease, there was an increase. This might be because, as Covid restrictions are lifted and we return to normal, people are taking it too easy and not following post-monsoon precautions," Dr Pooja Khosla, a senior consultant told NDTV.

She pointed to stagnant water (breeding grounds for mosquitoes that spread dengue) at re-opened building sites and overcrowded markets as an example of people not being careful. 

The increase in dengue in Delhi, Dr Khosla also said, may be because of a rise in cases in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and other areas of the national capital region.

In UP dozens died from dengue and viral fever after a spike from mid-August.

She also said the Ganga Ram Hospital was reporting between 80 and 100 walk-in dengue cases every day, with half that number admitted. About 20 per cent of the walk-ins are serious and 10 per cent need ICU (intensive care unit), she added.

"We are mainly getting regular dengue - i.e., with fever. More complicated cases - dengue hemorrhagic fever - patients with bleeding complications... they have low platelet, need ventilators or are hemodynamically unstable..."

"If we don't take timely action the number of cases will keep increasing for the next two or three weeks till winter sets in (when mosquito numbers usually decline)," she warned.

Dr Khosla also underlined the fact Delhi's medical professionals had learned from the harsh lessons of Covid and, that while they may be overwhelmed, they were ready to face the dengue threat.

In 2015, Delhi went through a major dengue outbreak, with reported cases crossing 10,600 in October alone, making it the worst in the national capital since 1996.

With input from PTI

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