Dengue, chikungunya alert: Diseases may hit Delhi earlier this year
This year, winter was warm in Delhi, paving the way for an early summer. This means that mosquito-borne deadly diseases like dengue and chikungunya will strike earlier than usual. Experts say that although situation is not alarming yet, measures to contain the breeding of mosquitoes and spread of the diseases should have started by now as the weather is not set to change.
There were no cases reported till January 13, but then till March 3, hospitals under SDMC reported 15 cases of dengue, 5 more than last year in the same time period. Last year, out of 9,271 victims, 10 died of dengue. Dengue cases usually erupt between mid-July and November-end, but the early onset of dengue cases in the capital is a matter of concern.
"It is important for the temperature to remain below at least 16 degrees for 10 to 15 days at a time for the mosquitoes and the virus to die," explained Dr BK Hazarika, municipal health officer, Delhi. But this year, temperatures remained higher than normal for most of the winter. That helped the Aedes mosquitoes, which spread dengue and chikungunya, to breed.
Some symptoms of dengue include flu, headache, pain behind eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands and rashes. Symptoms of chikungunya include abdominal pain, pain in back of the eyes, joints and/or muscle pain, fever, chills, fatigue and headache. If any of these symptoms persist even after a week, please don't delay. Consult a doctor immediately and get a blood test done.