299 malaria deaths, 19 dengue deaths this year in India

September 2nd, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) At least 299 people have died due to malaria and 19 others due to dengue across the country so far this year, the health ministry said Tuesday.After a meeting of health authorities under the chairmanship of R.K. Srivastava, director general of health services (DGHS), on the vector-borne disease situation in the country, authorities here said: “Till Aug 31, 15 states have recorded a total of 1,495 cases and 19 deaths due to dengue.”

In 2007, 18 states had recorded 5,534 dengue cases, of whom 69 people had died.

But in national capital region of Delhi, the number of dengue cases has gone up compared to the corresponding period of last year. A sudden spurt in the number of cases has been reported from Gurgaon where two deaths due to dengue have also been reported. The NCR has reported over 300 cases so far this year.

“The irony is that dengue in Gurgaon has been reported from the posh colonies which clearly indicated that affluent society does not give any heed to health authorities in terms of helping them in eliminating Aedes Aegypti breeding,” a ministry official said.

“It has been observed in the past also that without community participation the density of the dengue vector mosquito cannot be kept under check as the vector breeds in domestic and peri-domestic areas and the society is primarily responsible for its preponderance.”

The deaths due to malaria have reduced from 495 in January-August 2007 to 299 in the same period of 2008. Some northeastern states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Goa have shown an increase in the number of cases during this period.

“The malaria trend in the country has been showing a marginal decline during the last few years and annual incidence has been brought down to 1.47 million as compared to around 3 million annually during the last decade,” the official said.

The recent fury of rain, especially in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradseh and the NCR of Delhi has resulted in a spurt of malaria and dengue cases, the DGHS said.

The recent malaria outbreak reported from Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh claimed 10 lives. Early steps taken by the state government has brought the situation under control at present.

There have been reports of deaths after fever from Kanpur Rural district. The Uttar Pradesh government has already initiated steps to contain malaria in the district.

Authorities said there was no let-up in chikungunya cases in Kerala and Karnataka. Recently an outbreak of chikungunya was reported from south Kannada of Karnataka and Kasargod district of Kerala.

Cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) are being reported from Gorakhpur and its adjoining districts.

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