| Proportional dip
Pray for an early winter for respite from the sting menace.
Doctors claim that cases of dengue would start dropping once winter sets in. That the breeding rate of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries the virus, is usually higher in hot and humid weather than cold weather conditions forms the basis of their claim.
Even the district civil surgeon’s office made a similar claim.
“The trend so far has shown a deluge of dengue cases in monsoon and a decline in numbers once winter sets in. The humid monsoon air provides ideal breeding conditions for the dengue mosquito. Moreover, during rains, accumulation of fresh water at various places such as ditches and roads is common, helping them breed. In the dry winter air, water hardly accumulates and dengue cases dip,” said Prashant Kumar, the epidemic control officer, district civil surgeon’s office.
Kumar said on Thursday, 46 fresh cases of dengue were reported at city hospitals of which 32 were confirmed. He said so far, 1,002 suspected cases of dengue have reached the hospitals of which 678 has been found positive.
Met department officials spelt out more good news for residents — the prospect of winter arriving in the first week of November. Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna, said: “Winter would arrive early this year, probably around the first week of November because of low moisture content in the atmosphere and early flow of dry westerly winds.”
V.P. Sinha, a physician at Patna Medical College and Hospital, said: “Dengue cases would start declining in two weeks once the humidity level in the air dips. The number of cases reported at PMCH has dipped slightly. Earlier, we used to get around 10 new cases daily, now we get five or six.”
Physician Diwakar Tejaswi echoed the winter theory. Tejaswi added that there was a higher possibility of the dengue mosquito breeding in small sources of water than in larger ones.
“The dengue mosquito can mostly be found in water accumulated on roads, house roofs and in drains, bottles, coolers and defunct fountains,” said Tejaswi, before adding: “The life span of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is between 21 and 22 days during which it can infect many people.”
Tejaswi requested people to take all necessary precautions, including use of mosquito nets and repellents, among others.