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Cases of Mosquito-borne Diseases Drop in Delhi But Experts Warn against Lowering Guard

The Delhi government recently launched a campaign to urge people to spend 10 minutes at 10 am every Sunday to check their houses for mosquito- breeding grounds.

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Updated:September 3, 2019, 2:12 PM IST
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Cases of Mosquito-borne Diseases Drop in Delhi But Experts Warn against Lowering Guard
Representative image. (Image: Reuters)
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Concerted efforts by authorities and longer spells of rains have significantly brought down the number of cases of dengue, malaria, chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases in Delhi this year. Experts, however, have warned that the fight for protection from mosquitoes is far from over in wake of the impending "peak season for mosquito-borne diseases."

The national capital has reported significantly fewer cases of the diseases compared to previous years, according to data provided by authorities. Delhi has reported just 75 dengue cases as on August 24 this year, compared to 78 such cases in 2018, 435 in 2017, 311 in 2016 and 530 cases in 2015. Malaria and chikungunya cases have also seen a sharp decline with 131 and 21 cases being reported, respectively, till August 24 this year.

“This year, the number of cases of mosquito-borne diseases has been lower than usual due to multiple factors. Firstly, the rainy season has been longer, which has limited the scope of mosquitoes breeding outdoors. Frequent outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya have also made a large section of the population immune to the strain of the virus in circulation. And most importantly, the civic bodies, the state government and the center have displayed competitive approach towards creating more awareness about measures to prevent the spread of these diseases among the public,” Times of India (TOI) quoted a senior scientist from National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) as saying.

But experts have warned against lowering the guard against mosquito-borne diseases. “Mosquito breeding usually picks up once the rain stops. We are going to witness an increase in breeding over the next few weeks, and that may lead to an increase in the number of patients. However, given the preparations and awareness level among public this year, I am confident that the number will remain lesser than before,” TOI quoted a health officer as saying.

The Delhi government recently launched a campaign to urge people to spend 10 minutes at 10 am every Sunday to check their houses for mosquito- breeding grounds. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who himself checked his house for 10 minutes on Sunday, urged residents of the city to participate with full vigor in the 10-week long campaign.

“Every Sunday, we should ensure that flower pots, air coolers and other places are free of stagnant water,” Kejriwal said. “Mosquitoes that spread dengue can’t fly beyond 200 meters. So, if we keep our premises clean, chances of us getting affected by the deadly diseases become less,” he added.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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