25 dengue cases confirmed in the first four days of 2020

Last year, there were only five cases of the disease during the same period.

Ahmedabad: Unusually for this time of the year, 25 cases of dengue have been reported in Ahmedabad in just four days. This was revealed in a health bulletin issued by the health department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Monday. There were only five cases reported this time last year, meaning there has been a 400% rise in dengue cases for this time of year.

The significant increase in dengue cases comes despite there being no increase in the density of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which causes dengue, zika, yellow fever, and chikungunya.

“There is a viral transmission (from one mosquito to another) which is why a higher number of dengue cases are being reported. Also, due to the decrease in temperature, the life expectancy of mosquito has increased. Generally, mosquitoes live for four to five days during the monsoon and post-monsoon time. This has increased up to 10 days in winter,” said Rajesh Sharma, entomologist at the AMC.

Asserting that there is a rise in the dengue cases, Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge medical officer of AMC said, “Overall, there is a rise in dengue cases across the nation. Our city is not an exception. However, we are doing anti-larval activities to mitigate the issue. Fogging and indoor residual spray activities are being done by the department. We are also keeping a tab on construction sites, which are potential breeding sites. We have asked them to sprinkle oil on stagnant water.”

Dr Solanki also said that the health department is also taking blood samples and blood serums for laboratory tests in order to curb vector-borne diseases. In just four days, the department has collected 24,334 samples of the people who were showing symptoms of fever. The samples have been sent to be tested.

Interestingly, there is a decrease in water-borne cases compared to last year for the same period. Against 81 gastroenteritis cases in 2019 for the first five days, this year 45 cases have been reported.

The good news: There is no rise in cases of malaria or falciparum, with just eight cases of malaria, two cases of falciparum and nine cases of chikungunya cases reported in the city so far this year. Cases of water-borne diseases have fallen since this time last year. There were 81 gastroenteritis cases in 2019 for the first five days; this year, 45 cases have been reported.