Rains, water stagnation push up dengue, chikungunya cases in Pune district

PMC data shows that there were seven cases of dengue and 18 cases of chikungunya before the lockdown in March. Last year, the PMC had recorded 1,407 cases of dengue and 10 deaths – the majority of which were reported from July to November

While new Covid-19 infections are declining in Pune, doctors are reporting a rise in the number of dengue and chikungunya patients. State health data shows that there are 67 cases of chikungunya and 59 cases of dengue in Pune district.

According to Dr Rajesh Gadia, consulting physician at KEM hospital, over the past week there have been at least four to five patients daily with symptoms like high grade fever and severe joint pain. “Six chikungunya cases were confirmed today itself,” said Gadia, adding that among the clinical presentations, they were also getting people with rash. “We are getting patients mainly from the Peth areas – Nana Peth, Somwar Peth, Rasta Peth and areas around Pune railway station,” Gadia said.

All these patients tested negative for Covid-19. Confirmatory tests for chikungunya are conducted on the tenth day of fever and we have started picking up cases, Gadia added.

Dr Sanjeev Wavare, assistant health chief of Pune Municipal Corporation, said 40 cases of dengue fever have been reported.

Civic health officials said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, actively detecting other diseases has remained on the backburner. “However, we have started deploying manpower from the insect control department to conduct container surveys and check for breeding spots of the dengue causing mosquito,” Wavare said

PMC data shows that there were seven cases of dengue and 18 cases of chikungunya before the lockdown in March. Last year, the PMC had recorded 1,407 cases of dengue and 10 deaths – the majority of which were reported from July to November. There were 741 cases of chikungunya in 2019 of which a majority were reported during the monsoon and post-monsoon period.

From January till October 15, state health data shows there were 59 dengue cases and 67 chikungunya cases in Pune district. Of these, 49 cases of chikungunya are in Pune rural while eight have been confirmed in PMC areas. According to Dr Mahendra Jagtap, state entomologist, the highest number of dengue and chikungunya cases are in Kolhapur (420 dengue and 198 chikungunya).

Nashik has reported 207 cases of dengue, Thane 200 cases and Mumbai 84 cases. The highest number of chikungunya cases is in Kolhapur, Pune and Sangli (63), Jagtap said.

Across the state, from January till October 15, there have been 2,029 cases of dengue and 422 cases of chikungunya. Four deaths due to dengue have been reported of which two were in Nagpur and one each in Kolhapur and Sangli.

State officials said mosquito breeding has taken place due to erratic rainfall and water stagnation. Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, told The Indian Express that there was a need for vigilance to ensure that container surveys are carried out and breeding grounds of the mosquito-borne viral disease are eliminated.

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