There has been a spike in the number of dengue and viral cases across India, with doctors in the National Capital saying that the footfall of patients in hospitals have increased. Earlier, in a statement, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had said that the number of dengue cases reported this season is the highest reported in the last six years.

“There has been an increase in the number of patients at the hospital,” Dr. Neetu Jain, Senior Consultant Pulmonology critical care at PSRI Hospital told The Citizen. She added that a lot of patients are complaining of viruses, some of which are turning out to be dengue. “A lot of people are coming with fever and sore throat. Let’s say if we are getting ten patients with fever, three are coming out to be dengue,” she said.

The doctors, however, pointed out that this is usually the season for such diseases and such numbers are usually normal this time. “It is just that there is not much severity of the disease as not many people are getting admitted with dengue,” she added.

However, Madhulika, who is a daily wage labourer in Dwarka had to run from hospital to hospital when two of her children were affected with dengue. “The hospitals were not admitting my children as they did not have beds. It was a nightmare,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has not released reports on dengue and other vector-borne diseases for the past several weeks. The tally of dengue cases recorded in the national capital till August 5 stood at 348, according to a MCD report released on August 7. The MCD, otherwise, releases weekly reports on cases of vector-borne diseases every Monday. However, in the past several weeks, the reports have not been issued.

“We have not received reports from the office of the municipal health officer, so we will share as soon as we receive it,” the senior civic official said. Asked about the number of cases of dengue reported so far, he said that 'the situation is under control' at present.

Diseases like dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that occurs due to stagnant water. Water-logging, floods and bouts of heavy rain can also be the reason for mosquito breeding, hence leading to such diseases.

Mild dengue fever causes a high fever and flu-like symptoms. The severe form of dengue fever, also called dengue hemorrhagic fever, can cause serious bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and death.

Although there is panic among patients, the doctors have asked people to not be alarmed as the situation is not as bad as last year. Officials have also said to keep a watch out for these diseases, which might slow down in October.

“There is an influx of patients, but it is not serious. And I would also say that last year and last to last year the situation was more dire, compared to this year. There were more complications, which we are not witnessing this year,” Dr. Anurag Saxena Consultant in Internal medicine in Primus Super Speciality Hospital told The Citizen.

Delhi health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the chief secretary and the city’s health department have been directed to hold a 'big' campaign to create awareness about the spread of dengue.

“The most effective and easiest way to protect oneself from dengue is to be aware of its spread and prevent mosquito breeding in one’s surroundings. The ‘10 Hafte-10 Baje-10 Minute’ campaign will be run on a big level,” he had told reporters.

On being asked as to why the data of dengue cases in Delhi has not been made public, he said, “We have asked the MCD to share the data of dengue cases in the city. It is the job of the civic agency to share data with the health department according to protocols.”

According to the August 7 MCD report, 85 malaria cases were recorded in the January 1-August 5 period. The number of dengue cases reported in July stood at 121, 40 in June and 23 in May.

Meanwhile, doctors have advised people to keep taking precautions like use of mosquito repellent and nets. “It is important to take care of water collection around your house. These are the usual precautions that need to be taken to prevent mosquito breeding,” Dr. Jain said. She added that if someone starts getting fever, watch out for a rash or bleeding. “If there is high grade fever that is not going down, then get yourself tested,” she further said.

According to reports, over 7,000 infections in Karnataka, around 3,000 in Uttar Pradesh, and more than 1,100 in Uttarakhand, the number of people getting infected by dengue across various states in India is rapidly increasing.

In Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday more than 7,000 dengue cases have been reported across the state in the last few days, out of which more than 4,000 cases were from Bengaluru city alone.

In West Bengal, as per state Health Department figures, the total number of affected people in the current season so far has been reported at 15,272, out of which 10,321 have been reported from rural pockets, while the remaining 4,951 are from urban areas.

The total number of dengue-related deaths reported from the state is 24.

Dengue cases have also risen across Uttar Pradesh, with Kanpur alone reporting more than 200 cases in the past few days. In Uttarakhand, more than 1,100 dengue cases have been reported this year and at least 13 deaths from it. Close to 700 dengue infections have also been reported from across Bihar, with Bhagalpur having 300 active cases, and Patna 298.