Malaria and dengue cases on rise in Mumbai, further spike likely: doctors
Cases of vector-borne diseases are gradually rising in Mumbai amid the arrival of monsoon. In comparison to May, the number of malaria cases surged by 33 per cent in June and civic officials believe that the ongoing monsoon may further increase the number of cases.
Data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) showed that in May, the city reported 234 malaria cases which surged to 350 in June. Dengue cases also climbed from 34 to 39 during the same period.
Till July 3, the BMC recorded 39 and 7 cases of malaria and dengue respectively in the city. But that could be just a fraction of the real numbers as the BMC lacks the mechanism to collect data from private hospitals which get the highest caseloads.
With the pre-monsoon shower, followed by torrential rainfall, doctors believe that the cases of mosquito-borne diseases will spike further in the next 2-3 weeks. As Dr T Jacob John, a virologist and retired professor at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, pointed out, monsoon provides suitable breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“While it rains continuously, breeding grounds overflow. Once the downpour subsides, mosquitoes start breeding and with the rise in population, cases of malaria and dengue increase. This is the general pattern during monsoon,” said Dr Jacob.
Dr Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist, and infectious disease specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, said in June he treated around 10-12 cases of malaria-dengue.
Similarly, Dr Harshad Limaye, senior consultant, internal medicine, Nanavati Hospital, said that in May, he treated only two cases of monsoon-related ailments but in June, he managed about seven such cases. “Historically, dengue and malaria cases rise in July and August i.e; towards the end of the monsoon and hence, people should support and contribute to the efforts of the civic body to prevent mosquito breeding in their homes and surrounding areas,” he said.
“Do not ignore symptoms of dengue such as muscle pain, bodyache, vomiting, fever, and headache, and consult the doctor on an immediate basis,” said Dr Tushar Rane, internal medicine expert, Apollo Spectra Hospital.
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