Delhi grapples with dengue, cases cross 2,500 mark

As Delhi rolls up its sleeves to host the 19th Commonwealth Games, civic authorities continue to grapple with what experts are calling a "cycle of dengue".

New Delhi: As Delhi rolls up its sleeves to host the 19th Commonwealth Games, civic authorities continue to grapple with what experts are calling a "cycle of dengue".

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the infectious disease has claimed five lives so far. The total number of patients reached 2,536 Wednesday.

The number this year is expected to cross the 2006 figure of 3,366 cases.

Nearly 70 new dengue cases are turning up in the city every day despite the regular fogging operations and checks against breeding of dengue causing mosquitoes in houses.

The numbers reported by private hospitals and laboratories continue to be much higher than the figures quoted by the MCD, presenting an entirely contradictory picture.

Moolchand Hospital sees nearly 10 to 15 dengue cases everyday. Its doctors have treated over 350 patients so far this year.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has treated over 120 patients since August.

"We admit patients who have low platelet count because of the fever. Those in the initial stages of dengue are prescribed medicines," said a senior doctor of Apollo Hospital.

"This number is expected to shoot up in the wake of incessant rains," he added.

Max Hospital in south Delhi on an average gets 30 suspected dengue cases each day.

"Ninety percent of the patients are tested positive after the IPr test," said a senior doctor of Max Hospital.

Holy Family Hospital, that had been treating patients coming from the worst affected Jamia Nagar area in south Delhi, refused to give any information related to dengue.

"We are reporting the number of dengue cases only to the MCD," said an official from the hospital.

Government hospitals in the capital have also been asked not to report the numbers to the media.

Private laboratories share a grim picture as far as the number of cases are concerned.

One of the major medical laboratories, Dang`s pathological laboratory, in the capital has tested around 1,200 positive dengue cases so far.

"We test nearly 40-50 positive cases each day," Navin Dang of Dang`s laboratory, told reporters.

Dr. Lal`s Path Laboratories has tested over 1,100 positive dengue cases since mid-July, confirming nearly 70 cases each day.

The number of confirmed dengue cases total to over 2,000 from just two of the laboratories in the city.

A figure from other laboratories would easily outnumber the MCD`s official dengue figures.
"This is the only time when the MCD can control the outspread of the disease. By the end of the month, the breeding environment for Aedes mosquitoes might turn better," an official from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme told IANS.

Meanwhile, the civic body said there were no serious cases of dengue. "We are treating patients and relieving them. There are no serious cases of dengue," N.K. Yadav, municipal health officer, told reporters.
Dengue symptoms include high fever for four to five days usually accompanied by severe headache, pain in the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rashes. After the fever goes away, the blood platelet count starts dipping, which is the most dangerous phase of the disease.

Twenty-four countries have already issued travel advisories, alerting travellers about the outbreak of dengue in Delhi ahead of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.


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