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Delhi touches new record with 10,683 dengue cases reported till October 10

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Health authorities said on Monday that with 10,683 dengue cases reported till October 10, Delhi recorded the highest number of patients of the viral disease in 19 years.

The last time dengue cases crossed the 10,000 mark was in 1996, when the city reported 10,252 patients, the authorities added.

The number of dengue cases reported from Delhi’s adjacent areas, suburban Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana, stood at 646.

According to the figures released by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, as many as 3,077 new cases were detected in the last one week.

Areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation witnessed the highest 2,432 cases while in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation areas witnessed the lowest  with 1,413 cases. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation recorded 2,307 cases in the last one week.

According to civic authorities, the official toll due to dengue in the national capital was 30, though the unofficial figure rose up to over 85.

Among the latest dengue victims confirmed by hospital authorities were a teenager and a 41-year-old man, who succumbed to the vector-borne disease on Sunday.

“The number of fever cases arriving at our hospital is more. The subject needs to be closely observed. In the middle of August, the number of cases went down but it is again rising,” AK Gadhpahilay, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, told reporters.

“As winter arrives, dengue cases will see a decline,” he hoped.

A senior emergency medicine expert at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said, “Dengue seems uncontrollable now. The number of cases witnessed this year clearly indicates that municipal authorities can’t just depend on fumigation and light initiatives to prevent dengue. This has become a regular problem in every monsoon season.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Philippines Bans World’s First Dengue Vaccine

Manila banned the sale, import and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine in February following the deaths

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Philippines, Ban, Dengue
FILE - Parents of children injected with Dengvaxia vaccine carry pictures of their loved ones as they attend a senate hearing regarding the vaccine at the Senate building in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The Philippines stood firm Tuesday on its ban on the world’s first dengue vaccine while declaring a nationwide epidemic from the mosquito-borne disease that it said has killed hundreds this year.

Dengue incidence shot up 98% from a year earlier to 146,062 cases from January 1 to July 20, causing 662 deaths, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference in which he announced a “national dengue epidemic.”

Manila banned the sale, import and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine in February following the deaths of several dozen children who were among more than 700,000 people given shots in 2016 and 2017 in a government immunization campaign.

Duque said Thursday the government is studying an appeal to allow French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi to put the vaccine back in the Philippine market, but ruled out using the drug to combat the ongoing epidemic, which has hit small children hard.

Philippines, Ban, Dengue
The Philippines stood firm Tuesday on its ban on the world’s first dengue vaccine while declaring a nationwide epidemic from the mosquito-borne disease. Pixabay

“This vaccine does not squarely address the most vulnerable group which is the 5-9 years of age,” Duque said.

The vaccine, now licensed in 20 countries according to the World Health Organization, is approved for use for those aged nine and older.

Duque said the United Nations agency also advised Manila that the vaccine was “not recommended” as a response to an outbreak, and it was anyway “not cost-effective” with one dose costing a thousand pesos (about $20).

Dengue, or hemorrhagic fever, is the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus and infects an estimated 390 million people in more than 120 countries each year — killing more than 25,000 of them, according to the WHO.

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The Philippines in 2016 became the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass immunization program.

But controversy arose after Sanofi disclosed a year later that it could worsen symptoms for people not previously infected by the dengue virus.

The disclosure sparked a nationwide panic, with some parents alleging the vaccine killed their children.

Philippines, Ban, Dengue
Dengue incidence shot up 98% from a year earlier to 146,062 cases from January 1 to July 20, causing 662 deaths, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference. Pixabay

The controversy also triggered a vaccine scare that the government said was a factor behind measles outbreaks that the UN Children’s Fund said have killed more than 200 people this year.

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Duque on Tuesday called on other government agencies, schools, offices and communities get out of offices, homes and schools every afternoon to take part in efforts to “search and destroy mosquito breeding sites”. (VOA)