City records 150% spike in malaria cases in first quarter

Health department officials claim that spike in cases is a result of increased surveillance and blood testing; City also figures among high-risk dists for dengue

Published: 23rd April 2018 03:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2018 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The unusually high number of mosquitoes in summers is giving jitters to Hyderabadis as there is every possibility of their falling prey to malaria, dengue or other vector-borne diseases. Their fears are not unfounded as the city has reported a 150 per cent spike in malaria cases in the first four months of the year.

While 53 malaria cases were reported between January and April 20, 2017, the number was 132 in the corresponding period of 2018. Malaria-mosquitoes breed mostly in drainage water. It is the job of the sanitation department staff to ensure that drains and other water sources do not become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Health department officials said that while the high number of mosquitoes in summers could be a reason for the spike in cases, it is only one of the reasons. "Since we have stepped up surveillance and tested the blood samples of more number of people, the number of cases reported is also high," explained Dr S Prabhavati, additional director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (Telangana).

DENGUE ALERT: With Hyderabad being one of the high-risk districts for dengue, health department officials are on a high alert. Between January and April 20 last year 33 dengue cases were reported and the number rose to 58 this year. In the state, the number of dengue cases this year so far is 230 but it was only 168 last year (Jan to Apr 20). Officials said Hyderabad is categorised as one of the high-risk districts for dengue on the basis of the number of cases reported in 2017. A total of 3,061 cases were reported last year, as per official records.

The other high-risk districts include Khammam, Nizamabad and Bhadradri-Kothagudem. A total of 1,174 habitations, eight municipalities and 224 PHCs have been identified as high risk. While there was spurt in the number of cases northern Telangana, it has come down in Khammam. During the January-April 20, 2017 period, 75 dengue cases were reported in Khammam. The number is 34 for the same period this year.

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Dengue, Chkungunya kits for testing labs

Officials of the state's National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) said that 240 dengue kits and 40 Chikungunya kits were allocated to Telangana and around 100 NS1 kits would be procured for supply to dengue labs for early detection. Usually, officials and doctors advise people not to allow water stagnation at and near their homes as Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes breed in still water. They are also advised to keep their air-coolers dry for one day in a week.

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