Dengue, malaria threat in Delhi, say experts

New Delhi, Jun 23 (IANS): Threats of diseases like dengue and malaria loom large over parts of Delhi that were flooded in the first spell of monsoon and the rise in the Yamuna water level, health experts warned Saturday.

"With stagnant water all around, threat of diseases like dengue, malaria and other vector-born diseases is high in Delhi," said Sushum Sharma, head of the department of internal medicine at Max Hospital, Gurgaon.

"The aedes mosquitoes which carry dengue, breed in clean water. Hence, with so much water logging, the threat of dengue raising its head again is high," Sharma told IANS.

Admitting the threat, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner P.K. Gupta said the civic agency will soon start its campaign to educate people on precautions against these diseases.

"The rains have just we will start the process of issuing advertisements, hand bills and radio publicity to make the citizens aware," Gupta told IANS.

"However, the process of fumigation is on. House-to-house checking of mosquito breeding is also being looked after. Till now there has been no major case of dengue and malaria," he added.

B.S. Vohra, representative of the Mega Delhi Residents Welfare Association, said the process of fumigation started a little late.

"The process of fumigation is being done by the corporations but unfortunately it started only after a few cases of dengue were reported," he said.

Doctors suggest that precautionary measures should be adopted by people to avoid dengue and malaria.

"The only way is to avoid mosquito bite," Navneet Kaur, internal medicine specialist at Nova Specialty Surgery, Delhi, told IANS.

"Apply mosquito repellent cream on all body parts. Aedes mosquitoes don't fly very high, so parts of foot and lower parts of body are the zone where they attack," Kaur said.

Sharma added that fever should not be taken lightly and self-medication should be avoided.

"The main characteristic of dengue fever is that suddenly you will have high fever. It is accompanied by body ache, specially in the lower back giving it the name of 'break bone fever'," said Sharma.

"Rashes appear only on the 4th-5th day of the fever," she said.

"Anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided. Paracetamol can be taken, and doctor should be consulted immediately," he added.

Six malaria cases have been reported in Delhi so far in June, while 13 cases were recorded in May.

Seven cases of dengue have been reported in the national capital so far this season. In 2012, 2,093 cases of dengue were reported in Delhi.


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