Delhi has recorded 247 cases of malaria even as dengue cases fell to 171 till mid-September this year. Both malaria and dengue are mosquito-borne viral infections which peak in and around the monsoon season.
Where dengue is transmitted due to the bite of Aedes mosquito, malaria is cause by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. The symptoms of both the diseases are quite similar, both of which begin with fever, but if the fever is not diagnosed and treated on time, they can prove to be fatal in nature.
Dengue is endemic in Delhi and several thousand cases are reported each year. Only a few hundred cases of malaria are reported in Delhi each year and the government aims to eliminate it by next year.
According to the central government’s National Strategic Plan for malaria elimination, Delhi is one of the 20 states that will go for elimination in 2020. Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that causes fever, chills, and shivering and can lead to a coma and death if not treated on time.
Sixty cases of chikungunya, another mosquito-borne viral illness, have also been reported in Delhi till September 14, according to the report.
The authorities attribute the lower number of dengue cases to the delay and deficiency in rainfall.
“This year, the monsoon was delayed and the rainfall was also less. And, most of the heavy rainfall days were followed by very sunny ones. There wasn’t much water accumulation, that could be the reason for the lower number of cases,” a municipal health officer, on condition of anonymity told Hindustan Times.
The number of dengue cases usually peaks in October and goes down in November.
HT further reported that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that the number of cases reported last year fell by almost 80% from 2015, which was an outbreak year when nearly 60,000 people had been infected and 60 had died.
To ensure the numbers remain low, the government launched a breeding control drive from September 1. “Ten weeks, at ten o’clock, for ten minutes,” check for mosquito breeding in your homes and your surroundings to prevent diseases like dengue and chikungunya, the CM had said.
“The idea behind the campaign is that if everyone cleans their water sources every seventh day, mosquito breeding can be kept in check,” HT quoted a Delhi government official.
The CM wrote to the Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday inviting the Central government to participate in the dengue awareness campaign. “Began this campaign from my home on Sunday, 1st September at 10 AM and so did all my ministerial colleagues, MLAs, councillors and Delhi government officers. We will continue this campaign for the next 10 Sundays. I invite you and all Central government ministers to participate in this campaign. Your participation will inspire many others to participate,” the CM’s letter read.