14 Dead, 650 New Cases as Mumbai Battles Dengue

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14 Dead, 650 New Cases as Mumbai Battles Dengue
Mumbai:  In Mumbai, 14 people have died from Dengue this year and nearly 650 cases have been reported in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) run hospitals alone. Although it has not been declared an epidemic yet, public health experts say the huge spurt in the number of cases is worrisome.

Dr Om Shrivastav, Director of Department of Infectious Diseases at Jaslok Hospital, told NDTV, "It certainly has the proportion to be defined as an epidemic. Private practioners and laboratories also have seen a rise in cases and the total number of cases are more than what is being reported."

The alarm bells are ringing as the number of cases has jumped four times since last year - while 150 cases were reported in BMC run hospitals in 2013, this year that number has crossed 650.

The BMC admits it has a situation at hand. Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh told NDTV, "We are near the end of November and we still haven't seen a drop in temperature. This has led to an increase in the dengue cases as it is the conducive atmosphere for dengue larvae to grow."

The BMC has now deployed 900 people to fumigate 12 lakh households across the city. The civic body is spraying anti-larvae oil on open water bodies and equipping hospitals with doctors and medicines to handle dengue cases.

A door-to-door campaign to remove stagnating water has also been launched.

Doctors insist only 5 per cent of cases turn serious and very few become fatal. With no specific treatment, precaution is the key. Experts say early mornings and evenings is when people need to be extra careful as that is when the dengue mosquitos are generally more active.

Dr Shubhangi Parkar, the Dean of KEM Hospital in Mumbai, which is the hub for treating dengue cases, told NDTV, "Early identification is key. No one should not take fever lightly and think nothing will happen. Those with symptoms should go to the doctor immediately so that investigations are automatically done and proper medication is given. For dengue there is nothing like anti-dengue treatment."

What is however a good sign is that the number of cases reported in the last three days has come down by nearly 50 per cent and the BMC claims its efforts to control the situation is working.


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