Kerala witnessed threefold increase in dengue cases in 2023

In 2022, Kerala documented 4,432 dengue cases, while in 2021, the total number was a mere 3,251 cases.

BySumit Jha

Published Dec 10, 2023 | 3:43 PMUpdated Dec 10, 2023 | 3:44 PM

Kerala witnessed threefold increase in dengue cases in 2023

Kerala witnessed a significant surge in dengue cases in 2023, marking a more-than-threefold increase.

As of 30 November, the state recorded 14,189 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Comparatively, Kerala documented 4,432 dengue cases in 2022, while the total number was a mere 3,251 cases in 2021.

Additionally, the state experienced 51 dengue-related deaths this year, surpassing the figures of 29 in 2022 and 27 in 2021.

Similarly, Karnataka reported around twice the increase in dengue cases this year compared to the previous year.

The state reported 14,227 cases till 30 November, as compared to 9,889 cases in 2022.

However, the number of deaths due to the viral infection did not change. The state reported nine deaths in 2022 as well as in 2023.

Also read: Kerala, Karnataka top the list of dengue cases in the country

Cases in South India

Tamil Nadu has observed a slight uptick in Dengue cases, reporting 7,133 cases until November 30th this year, compared to 6,430 cases in 2022.

However, there has been an increase in fatalities, with 10 reported this year, as opposed to eight last year.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, there has been a decline in Dengue cases. Andhra Pradesh reported 5,936 cases this year until 30 November, down from 6,391 cases in 2022. Notably, there were no reported deaths in either year.

Telangana has also experienced a reduction in Dengue cases, recording 7,894 cases and one death as of 30 November this year. In contrast, the state reported 8,972 cases with no fatalities in 2022.

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The dengue in India

India recorded 2,34,427 cases of dengue till 30 November this year, the government said in the Lok Sabha on Friday, 8 December.

It underlined that the cases remain low every year from January to July whereas maximum cases are reported from August to December.

In the current year, due to global climate change, the El Nino effect and unequal rainfall, increased vector density led to an increase in the number of dengue cases reported across the country, Union Minister of State for Health SP Singh Baghel said in reply to a question.

Baghel informed the House that 2,33,251 cases of dengue were reported in 2022 and 1,93,245 in 2021.

Transmission of dengue happens around the year in many states. However, cases increase during monsoon and continue till the post-monsoon season due to the abundance of vector breeding sites, he said.

“For dengue transmission, environmental factors namely rainfall, humidity and temperature are mainly responsible. In the current year, due to the global climate change, El Nino effect and unequal rainfall, increased vector density led to an increase in the number of dengue cases reported across the country in the current year,” Baghel said.

On the development of a vaccine against dengue, he said it is very challenging mainly due to the existence of four different serotypes with no cross-protection, no well-established animal models to understand the immunopathogenesis of disease, no established correlates of protection and lack of good immunological assays.

“The WHO target product profile for dengue vaccine is not yet available, as informed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The ICMR has recently signed an MoU with Panacea Biotech and Serum Institute of India for clinical trial of a dengue vaccine candidate,” the minister stated.

The ICMR has been working on creating awareness through its research institutions in the form of outreach programmes and training and awareness programmes among masses through public lectures, live demonstrations, training and research, he said.

The ICMR is using the latest technologies like remote sensing and geographical information systems for risk mapping of areas and planning interventions, Baghel added.

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