Dengue infections increased roughly sevenfold in West Bengal till the first week of August compared to the same period last year, despite the fact that at least 11 towns have been recognised as regions where the illness is wreaking havoc.
Up till the first week of August 2021, the state health agency reported 450 dengue cases. During the same time period this year, the total has skyrocketed to 3,104.
The department has sent the chief secretary with a report that lists the districts in the state where dengue cases have exceeded all previous records during the past five years.
“The highest number of cases reported between January and August since 2017 was 89. This year it has shot up to 768. In Kalimpong, just one case was reported…. This year, the district has registered 56 cases. Other districts where records of last five years have been broken are Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum and Malda,” said a health department official.
The agency has identified many locations where the mosquito-borne disease is killing a lot of people, including Kolkata, Howrah, Bidhannagar, Panihati, Bally, Titagarh, Kamarhati, Rajpur-Sonarpur, Asansol, Englishbazar, and Siliguri.
“Three out of four members in my family, including me, my wife and my daughter were down with the disease. While I have recovered, my wife and daughter are still recovering,” said Anjan Halder, a resident of North 24 Parganas.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has identified at least 13 wards as highly prone to dengue. It has also asked private laboratories and hospitals to submit data.
“Mosquito borne diseases such as dengue are common in the monsoon as the Aedes mosquito needs very small puddles of clean stagnant water, which can accumulate in any discarded object, to breed. We need to be very alert as other diseases like swine flu may have almost the same symptoms. The classical symptoms of dengue are not prevalent now,” a daily quoted Daipayan Biswas, a doctor, as saying.
The health department said the situation remained under control. “The cases have shot up…. But they have not reached an alarming stage,” said NS Nigam, the state health secretary.