Delhi reported its first dengue death this year, when a 12-year-old boy succumbed to the mosquito-borne viral infection.
The boy died at west Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram hospital on August 1 due to multi-organ failure.
With 161 new cases reported in the past week, 325 people have been affected by the disease in Delhi this year, twice the number in the same period last year (162).
In 2016, there were 4,431 cases of dengue and 10 deaths.
Last year, Delhi witnessed a Chikungunya outbreak, recording 7,760 cases, and this year, too, 194 cases have been reported so far. In the corresponding period last year, 20 samples had tested positive for Chikungunya.
A Delhi government official attributed the high number this year to better surveillance.
“Last year, nobody had expected a chikungunya outbreak as the viral infection does not commonly spread in Delhi,” the official said, requesting anonymity. “It was only after hospitals started receiving hundreds of cases that attempts to collect data were made.”
After the outbreak, the corporation listed chikungunya as a notifiable disease, making it mandatory for hospitals to report chikungunya cases to district authorities.
Both the mosquito-borne illnesses are spread by the same day-biting aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clean stagnant water. Their population usually increases during the monsoons, raising the number of cases.
“The intermittent showers (this season) create conducive environment for the growth and multiplication of disease-causing viruses and bacteria and also create an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes,” a health department official said.
Malaria cases are also going up, with 215 cases reported till August 19. In the same period last year, 165 cases had tested positive.