At least 680 fresh cases of dengue were reported in the city in the first week of October, taking the number of people affected by the vector-borne disease this season to 4,545, according to a report by civic authorities released today. The number of malaria and chikungunya cases recorded in the city till October 7 stood at 1,032 and 638 respectively, the report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which tabulates data for the entire city, said. Of the total 4,545 dengue cases, 2,152 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 2,152 Delhi cases, 345 were reported this month, the report said. Dengue has claimed one life in the city during the season so far. Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end.
This year, however, it has been much earlier. Doctors attribute this to an early monsoon. Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. The female anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water. According to the SDMC, mosquito breeding has been reported from 1,80,687 households in Delhi. All the three municipal corporations in the city have stepped up awareness drives, distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers announcing dos and don'ts for prevention. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the city has banned over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Brufen as their use may "pose a threat" to dengue and chikungunya patients. At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year from various city hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official figure of the civic bodies stood at 10. Seventeen deaths, suspected to be due to malaria, were also reported by civic bodies last year. At least 15 fatalities were reported last year from various city hospitals due to complications triggered by chikungunya, though civic authorities kept the death tally at zero. One of the worst outbreaks of chikungunya was in 2016 when 12,221 were reported till December 24, 2016. Of these, 9,749 were confirmed.
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