PRO/AH/EDR> Dengue, malaria, chikungunya – India: (MH) updates


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 19 Oct 2023
Source: The Times of India (TOI), Times News Network (TNN) [edited]

An analysis of the areas reporting the highest number of dengue,
malaria, and chikungunya cases in Mumbai [capital city of Maharashtra
state] this year [2023] has revealed a troubling hotspot: the K West
ward, which covers prominent areas like Andheri (W), Vile Parle (W),
and Juhu. These areas have been hit hardest by all the 3 vector-borne
diseases, prompting the state to insist on a thorough investigation to
understand the reasons behind this concentration of cases.

Calling Mumbai a hub for migrants, the state government called upon
the BMC [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] to take swift action in
combating dengue, malaria, and chikungunya, and even seek the
assistance of external organisations such as the WHO and UNICEF if
needed to control the spread. The state held a review meeting on [13
Oct 2023], following which it wrote to corporations that have reported
a surge in cases.

“Mumbai is the financial capital of the country, so migrants in this
city are huge. Therefore, these diseases can spread to other districts
as well,” the state wrote.

Mumbai has witnessed a 47% increase in malaria cases in the year up to
October [2023] when compared to the same period last year [2022].
Notably, the city is accountable for 45% of the total 11 404 malaria
cases reported in Maharashtra in 2023. Dengue also paints a concerning
picture, with Mumbai contributing to 1/3 of the 11 600 registered
cases in the state.

Delving into a finer analysis of cases within the city, the state
government identified G South (527), E (403), and G North (256) as the
main contributors of malaria cases. However, it’s the K West ward that
reported a substantial transmission of all 3 infections. The densely
populated ward has reported the highest number of dengue cases in the
city (542), along with 234 cases of malaria and 38 cases of

The state has asked the BMC to initiate mapping of patients by
population, disease, and residential area. It wants BMC to carry out a
fever survey in at least 200 houses or workplaces as soon as a
positive case is found.

Dr Daksha Shah, BMC’s executive health officer, said Mumbai has seen a
surge in cases across the suburbs. “Andheri West is one of the most
populated with 8 to 9 lakh [800 000 to 900 000] people living there,”
she said. Dr Shah added that the civic body has been actively mapping
cases and conducting visits to around 500 households near each
infected case. “However, cases have started declining now,” she said,
adding that the erratic weather has been conducive to the spread of

Dr Hemalata Arora, internal medicine consultant at Nanavati Hospital,
said they continue to see an average of 4 to 5 dengue patients daily,
but admissions are limited.

[Byline: Sumitra Debroy]

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