National Dengue Day 2018: Facts about the Indian climate's relationship with this vector-borne disease that you should know

Most dengue outbreaks are known to have occurred in the states, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana and Kerala.

Dengue cases have increased drastically in the past few years. Records have it that it is only since the 1990s that the cases of dengue have become more frequent especially in various parts of India. In between the year 1998 to 2009, 82 327 dengue cases were reported while between 2010 to 2014 the number of cases shot right up to 213 607 and very recently, in the year 2017 alone over 18,700 cases of dengue were reported. The statistics are alarming but the sudden rise in Dengue cases recently owes a lot to the Indian climate. The climate in India and its seasonal changes are unique. The climate is heavily dominated by the monsoon and therefore paves way for vector-borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria, chikungunya etc.

Here are a few facts about the Indian climate and its co-relation with Dengue that you should know.

  • A study conducted on 'Dengue burden in India, its recent trends and importance of climatic parameters' says that 'epidemiological shift, which is the phase of development witnessed by a sudden and severe increase in population growth rates) in dengue viruses and climate change might be responsible for the observed increase in dengue burden across India.'
  • According to various studies, India receives 75% of its rainfall during the southwest monsoon period that stretches from June to about September. This provides enough breeding habitats for Ae. aegypti ( the species of mosquito that can spread fatal diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, etc.)
  • Most dengue outbreaks are known to have occurred in the states, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana and Kerala during the monsoon or post-monsoon period.
  • Places having a cool temperature setting throughout like Kashmir, etc. are unfavourable for mosquito reproduction and therefore transmission does not occur. A study has shown that the virus cannot be found in the vector s salivary glands in temperatures below 18 C, whereas at temperature levels that are above 20 C, the dengue incidence gradually increases and remain at peak at 32 C.

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