Karnataka sees over 1,300 dengue cases and four deaths last month alone

Stagnant water in Bengaluru is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that transmit diseases like malaria and dengue.  the file

Stagnant water in Bengaluru is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that transmit diseases like malaria and dengue. the file | Photo credit: Bhagya Prakash K

With the gradual increase in new COVID-19 infections, Karnataka is also witnessing a spike in dengue cases. As of August 17, the State reported 4,738 dengue cases and four deaths.

According to data from the state Department of Health, all four deaths were reported in the last month alone. Although two of the dead are from Udupi, one was from Vijayapura and Chickballapur.

The state added 1,354 cases to this year’s dengue tally in the last month alone. In 2021, the State reported 7,189 cases from January to December and five deaths. Worried about the rise in cases, the Health Department has sought the guidance of the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to combat vector-borne diseases.

Highest in Bengaluru

With 20% of all cases in the State reported in Bengaluru this year, the city has continued to record the highest number of positive cases. From 351 cases in July, the number of dengue cases in Bengaluru has almost tripled to touch 950 as on Wednesday.

City hospitals receive more than 20 suspected dengue patients almost every day. Doctors said they see four to five admissions every day. This is a common scenario in most hospitals for the past three weeks as there is a rise in viral fever and related illnesses. Doctors at the state Victoria and KC General Hospital said they see more than 20 patients every day with viral fever and dengue-like symptoms. “Of these, an average of 10 are dengue positive and four out of five require admission every day,” said a senior doctor at Victoria Hospital’s Medical Department.

Annual dengue cases, deaths in the State

2016: 6,083 cases, eight deaths

2017: 17,844 cases, 10 deaths

2018: 4,848 cases, four deaths

2019: 18,183 cases, 17 deaths

2020: 3,823 cases, zero deaths

2021: 7,189 cases, five deaths

2022 (to date): 4,738 cases, four deaths

Contributing to the dramatic increase in mosquito population density, SN Aravinda, Consultant Internal Medicine, Aster RV Hospital, said that since the past few weeks, he has been admitting two dengue patients every day. “This can be attributed to climate change among other factors. The patients are mostly adults between 25 and 40 years old. Care must be taken to protect children from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine against dengue. The only way is to prevent mosquito breeding,” he said.

Pramod V. Satya, consultant (internal medicine) at Manipal Hospitals (Millers Road), said that intermittent rains provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “In the last two years we had lockdowns and most people stayed indoors. Therefore, the disease was under control,” he said.

KV Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health), attributed the outbreak of dengue to intermittent rains and consequent water logging.

The number of cases this year is comparatively higher than last year, the official said, with 1,643 cases recorded in Bengaluru in 2021. “After the lockdown, construction activities have resumed in the mosquito breeding city. We have increased vigilance and increased preventive measures. Door-to-door surveys are being conducted regularly to check larval breeding in open water storage containers and create awareness about prevention,” he said.

Cases in the districts

With 445 cases, Mysuru has recorded the highest number among non-Bengaluru districts. Mysuru is followed by Udupi (409), Dakshina Kannada (224) and Chitradurga (199).

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