No new mutant strain in Delhi dengue outbreak, says ICMR DG
Amidst the deepening dengue crisis in the National Capital, confirmation from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) that there is no mutant strain of dengue has come as a sigh of relief to the city government and civic bodies.
“There is no new mutant strain of dengue which is affecting people of Delhi and if citizens do their bit then the epidemic can come under control very soon,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, newly-appointed Director General of ICMR.
“There are four sero types of the dengue virus, 1, 2, 3 and 4. It looks like the dengue sero type 4 and 2 are more common this year. Every year there is a different sero type that is more common and that varies from year to year. The clinical manifestations are also the same,” she added explaining the higher intensity of the dengue this year. Swaminathan is a paediatrician and a researcher on infectious diseases. She said, “spread of dengue is a common feature every year, during and after the monsoon, and from what we know so far, of the number of cases and the sero types of dengue virus that are circulating, we are seeing the same pattern as we have seen in previous years.”
“The epidemic, typically, peaks in the month of October, post monsoon. But, this year because we have not seen much rain in Delhi and there is no water stagnation, it is possible that it is already peaking and that we may see an actual decline in the cases in the next few weeks. If it rains again, and water starts collecting here and there, there are chances of a rise,” explained Swaminathan.
She cautioned people to make sure there is no water stagnation within households. “The Aedes aegypti mosquito likes to breed in clean water, and can breed in very small amounts of water,” she added.
She also exhorted citizens to take care of their surroundings and follow precautions as government
cannot do this alone.