Chikungunya may making headlines but it is dengue that has caused more deaths in the city so far. The
mosquito-borne disease has claimed 20 lives, of which only four have been notified by the municipal
corporations. The dengue toll rose suddenly after AIIMS reported had succumbed to the diease in the
hospital since September 1. “The dengue death review committee is reviewing seven other deaths
reported from different hospitals. AIIMS, which has confirmed nine deaths, is yet to send its report,” said
a south corporation official, explaining why the official, explaining why the official dengue toll remains at
four. Chikungunya has claimed 13 lives so far this season. But the south corporation says it is still
collecting reportsfrom hospitals. Sir Ganga Ram and Apollo have reported five deaths each due to the
viral illness. AIIMS, Bara Hindu Rao and Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI) have recorded
one chikungunya death each.
Experts say the double-attack of vector-borne diseases is a rare occurrence. “It’s a public health crisis.
Early intervention and awareness about preventive measures is needed to reduce fatalities,” said Amir
Ullah Khan, a public health economist. AIIMS spokeperson Dr Amit Gupta said the hospital had admitted
96 dengue patients in the past 15 days. Of these, nine had died and 31 were still recuperating. “Most of
the deaths are occurring in the elderly age group who have pre-existing illnesses. The risk of secondary
infection is also high,” Dr Gupta said. Last year, Delhi witnessed a dengue outbreak which claimed more
than 60 lives. While the number of dengue cases are less this year, mortality remains high, said a
virologist. This year, chikungunya is affecting more people. The viral illness, considered non-fatal, has led
to panic since symptoms this time are severe and 13 lives have been lost to it.
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