At 10,734, Kerala reports most dengue cases
Kerala accounted for 9,770 dengue cases, out of the total 94,198 reported in the country till September 17. In second place is Karnataka with 9,185 infections.
KOCHI: Kerala has reported 10,734 dengue cases till September 30, the highest among the states in the country this year. As per the data provided by the directorate of health services, state recorded 38 dengue deaths during the period. The number of confirmed cases thus far is more than double the over 4,000 infections reported in the whole of last year.
According to National Center for Vector Borne Disease Control, Kerala accounted for 9,770 dengue cases, out of the total 94,198 reported in the country till September 17. In second place is Karnataka with 9,185 infections.
Dr Althaf A, epidemiologist and professor of community medicine at Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, said more people opting to get tested is one of the reasons for the high number of cases in the state.
Geographical and climatic factors lead to rise in dengue cases: Expert
According to Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a member of the Indian Medical Association’s Public Health Advisory Panel, geographical and climatic factors also lead to the rise in cases. “Kerala has abundant water bodies and low-lying wetlands where mosquitoes can breed. Abundant rain, particularly in the latter half of 2023, has created ideal breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes that lay eggs in freshwater,” he said. Dr Rajeev said population density makes it easier for mosquitoes to spread the virus.
“Aedes mosquitoes that spread dengue are aggressive day-biting mosquitoes that can live indoors for several days. They can spread the disease from one patient to all others sharing the same space, whether it is a home or office. Kerala being a relatively densely populated state, it is easy for mosquitoes to spread the virus,” he said. “Unscientific town planning can also cause an increase in the mosquito population,” said Dr Althaf.
“People working or living in an overcrowded area can get infected easily,” he said.
Source reduction of mosquitoes is essential in tackling the situation.
“We have to eradicate mosquitoes. With intermittent rains, they can multiply. We should avoid waterlogging by cleaning surroundings and following proper waste management methods starting from home,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state health department has urged the public to keep the households and surroundings clean to avoid mosquito breeding. Kerala has also recorded the highest number of dengue deaths this year.
“The number of deaths is proportionate to the number of cases. Dengue, in general, does not kill people. But fatalities could occur when the second infection occurs from a serotype different from the first infection and among people with underlying health conditions,” said Dr Rajeev.
He said specific supportive care measures are necessary to keep the mortality rates down.