Malaria, diarrhoea cases surge in Pune, Nagpur; here is why

Nagpur comparatively has more malaria cases than Pune.

An emergence of diarrhoea and malaria cases has been witnessed in Pune and Nagpur cities. In Pune, a team of experts has carried out a study that has linked the spike in these vector-borne diseases with local weather, a report by The IE pointed out. The study analysed the pattern of temperature and rainfall variations and understood how these parameters impact the prevalence of malaria and diarrhoea, in children as well. The report said that monsoon is also known as the transmission season for these vector borne diseases. According to Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Maharashtra, the Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) per say, which is the difference between maximum and minimum temperatures during the day, is more important when it comes to the spread of these diseases.

It is to note that in Pune, usually Southwest monsoon in Pune begins in middle of June and ends around mid-October, whereas in Nagpur, the monsoons begin in June-end and lasts till September. Further, the weather is also cooler in these cities during monsoon season as against dry conditions in some parts. The report said that Nagpur comparatively has more malaria cases than Pune. However, a “sustained number of cases” are being reported in both the cities during the four-month monsoon season. In case of diarrhoea, Pune reports more cases than Nagpur. According to experts, even a minor change in temperature or rainfall in these cities for a short time combined with cities’ geography can result in variation in the number of cases for these vector-borne diseases.

The study noted that when these factors are analysed properly, it is possible for the government and health authorities to forecast and make available the necessary supplies and treatment plans in advance. This being said, the malaria cases have been on a decline and in the last two decades, the cases have dropped from over 3 lakh to 34,000 cases in 2018. Infact, the mortality rate has also come down, the report citing the data by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) said.

This year, malaria cases have been reported highest (as of July 28) in Odisha with 19,001 cases, followed by Chhattisgarh with 18,933 cases, Uttar Pradesh with 4,667 cases, Jharkhand with 3,991 cases and Maharashtra having 3,090 cases.

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