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Dengue Fever in India

22 Aug 2013

The media has reported that dengue fever is affecting major cities in India and there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases. As of the end of July 2013, 15 893 cases including 56 deaths have been reported, this compares with 8899 cases and 76 deaths in the same time period of 2012.

The southern states are worst affected; Kerala 5801 cases, Karnataka 3775, and Tamil Nadu 3079 cases. In the north, 12 cases have been reported from Delhi.

Fatalities from dengue fever have been highest in Kerala and Maharashtra, both reporting 19 deaths. In Karnataka, 11 people have died while six have died in Madhya Pradesh.

Water supply mismanagement, gaps in public health infrastructure, increased mobility of population and poor infrastructure to monitor mosquito breeding are thought to have contributed to the increase in the mosquito population and dengue fever infections.

Advice for Travellers

Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, by covering up with clothing, the use of bite avoidance measures such as repellent and bed nets is advised. Elimination of breeding sites around hotel rooms/houses is advised for longer term stays.