Unseasonal rains behind rise in dengue: Ramadoss

September 8th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) Around 30 people have died of the mosquito-borne dengue in the country so far this year and many more are afflicted, which Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said was largely due to the unseasonal rains the country has been experiencing.“It’s been an unusual year as far as the vector-borne diseases are concerned. Mosquitoes die a natural death when the temperature is above 40 degrees Celsius. But this year, we are seeing unseasonal rains, because of which we are seeing a growth of vector borne diseases,” Ramadoss told reporters here Monday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the 26th Meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Southeast Asian region - a forum for the exchange of national experiences on the social, political and economic front.

According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, 29 people have died of dengue till Sep 8 this year - 10 deaths of which took place in the week Sep 2-8. About 1,976 people have been infected with the virus in the country, the officials said.

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

In the national capital region of Delhi, the number of dengue cases has gone up as compared to last year. One death has been reported from the capital while 136 people have been infected.

A sudden spurt in the number of dengue cases has been reported from Gurgaon, where two deaths have been reported. The NCR has reported over 300 cases so far this year.

Commenting on malaria, which also has witnessed a spurt, Ramadoss said Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai, has been witnessing many cases this year.

“We have been in touch with the Maharashtra government and provided them with fogging machines and mosquito nets. It is not possible for the government to search each house for stagnant water. We want to create awareness and have fined even some government institutions and officials,” he added.

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

The recent rains, especially in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradseh and the NCR of Delhi have resulted in a spurt of malaria and dengue cases.

Ramadoss said that diagnostic labs and kits are being provided to all states and also in the satellite towns of Gurgaon and Noida where dengue cases have been reported.

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