Rains could mean fewer dengue cases, say doctors
Live Punjab News Service
New Delhi -- The sudden fall in temperatures due to rain has brought hope to health officials in the capital that the spread of the dengue virus could be brought under control.
Thanks to occasional drizzle since Thursday the temperatures have dipped to 29 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal. The night temperature is 19 degrees. The ideal temperature for the aedes aegypti mosquito to breed in is 25-35 degrees.
"This change in weather is a good sign for people as the dengue virus cannot survive in a such weather," said Shakti Gupta, medical superintendent, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"We expect that there will be fewer cases of new dengue patients now," said Anil Sharma, another AIIMS doctor looking after dengue cases.
"If the weather changes again and it becomes hot during the day then this will have an adverse effect and dengue will spread rapidly," cautioned Sharma.
Meanwhile, two more people died at AIIMS, taking the death toll to 42 in Delhi, while 88 new cases were reported. With this the total dengue cases stands at 1,908.
One of the deaths was of an Uttar Pradesh resident while the second person to die was from the Sangam Vihar area of south Delhi. The 23-year-old Delhi resident was brought to the hospital Thursday in a serious condition and died soon after.
The hospital admitted 36 new patients since Thursday, taking the total patients to 185. Delhi is among the worst affected states with seven deaths in the national capital since Thursday.
The death toll from dengue across the country stood at 117 and total number of patients at 6,828.
The dengue virus is spread through the bite of the female aedes aegypti mosquito that breeds in stagnant water. The disease is marked by high fever, skin rashes and pain in the joints. A sharp drop in the patient's blood platelet count can prove fatal.
According to health officials, patients from nearby states were also coming in large numbers to Delhi hospitals.
Of the total patients, 362 patients were from Uttar Pradesh, 207 from Haryana, 16 from Rajasthan and 91 from other states.
Among other states, Kerala reported 834 cases, followed by Rajasthan (830), Gujarat (449), West Bengal (573), Uttar Pradesh (478), Tamil Nadu (307), Punjab (413), Maharashtra (580), Haryana (232), Karnataka (92) and Andhra Pradesh (57).
Another mosquito-borne virus chikungunya has also seen a rise with 28 cases being reported in Delhi, taking the total number of patients to 1,653.
Apart from Delhi, the maximum number of confirmed chikungunya cases were reported from Maharashtra (679), followed by Karnataka (294), Andhra Pradesh (248), Gujarat (160), Tamil Nadu (111), Madhya Pradesh (62), Kerala (38), Rajasthan (24) and Pondicherry (9).