Parliament was told on Tuesday that India has recorded over 37,000 dengue cases, including 227 dengue deaths in 2012, the highest number in a year so far. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Health Abu Haseem Khan Choudhary said the percentage increase in number of cases and deaths between 2011 and 2012 (up to Nov 26) is approximately 97 percent and 34 percent respectively.
Dengue, a vector borne disease, has hit all major cities of the country, with the total number of cases by Nov 26 reaching 37,070 – a sharp increase from 18,860 cases and 169 deaths in 2011. Over 28,000 dengue cases and 110 deaths were reported in 2010.
Choudhary cited the unprecedented growth in population, unplanned rapid urbanisation and inadequate waste management as the reasons behind the outbreak. He added that ‘increased distribution and densities of vector mosquitoes due to man-made, ecological and lifestyle changes’ were amongst the main reasons for increasing dengue cases. Water supply mismanagement, gaps in public health infrastructure, increased mobility of population, and poor infrastructure in the states to monitor mosquito breeding were some other reasons cited by the minister.
Kerala has reported the maximum of over 3,760 dengue cases, followed by Karnataka with 3,640 cases. Delhi, by mid-November, reported 1,980 cases. Deaths from dengue have been highest in Tamil Nadu which reported 60 deaths. Maharashtra had 59 deaths and Delhi had four deaths.