The data released by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday has revealed the growing threat of mosquito-borne diseases in the city. The number of people affected by malaria in the national capital has increased to 75 this season, with 29 cases reported in the first three weeks of July.
The vector-borne disease is spreading fast this season as the number of malaria cases reported in February was two, one each in April and March. With 17 cases of Malaria reported in May, and 25 the following month, 29 cases were reported on July 21, according to SDMC.
The figure for the disease shows that it is higher than the number of people affected by dengue - 43 cases - and chikungunya - 34 cases - in the said period.
The number of dengue cases reported in January was six, three in February, one in March, By July, the number is 13, whereas 18 cases of chikungunya have been reported this month. It is not unusual for malaria cases to be reported in larger number compared to dengue since the two infections have different carriers, a senior doctor at a government hospital stated.
While SDMC tabulates data on the incidence of vector-borne diseases and deaths in the city, the doctors clarified that it does not provide the complete picture. A senior doctor working with National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme told ToI:
The corporations report only those cases that are treated in its sentinel hospitals or big private hospitals that send them reports. Hundreds of patients with febrile illnesses who get treated at smaller nursing homes or standalone clinics aren't included in the data.
The doctor also said that cases of malaria, which were once considered to diminishing, have shown significant rise across Southeast Asia, Africa and South Africa, mainly due to reduced focus and expenditure by the governments.
A principal consultant at Hindu Rao Hospital, Dr DK Seth said that poor sanitation levels may be the reason of high malaria incidence. "We need to renew our focus on the disease with an aim to eradicate it at the source and thus reduce its spread," he said.
According to the municipal health officials, cases of dengue and chikungunya may also soar in the coming months.