From Dengue to Nipah virus, vector-borne diseases are a major concern for India

The management of those illnesses stays troublesome, which ends up in straining an already struggling medical infrastructure

The demise of a 12-year-old boy in Kerala owing to Nipah virus has put the state on excessive alert in opposition to the contagious illness that jumps from animals to people.

To date, 251 contacts of the boy have been traced of which 11 are symptomatic.

In the meantime, Uttar Pradesh and the Nationwide Capital are battling a dengue outbreak. Not less than 50 folks, principally youngsters, have died of a ‘mysterious’ fever, which medical doctors consider is dengue.

Delhi has had an uptick in dengue instances with 124 infections reported to date this yr, the very best since 2018 when the town noticed 137 instances. Mumbai too has seen an increase in dengue instances and in August alone the monetary capital recorded 132 instances.

At a time when the medical authorities are already burdened with the coronavirus , the rise in these sorts of sicknesses is bringing again the concentrate on vector-borne illnesses.

What are vector-borne illnesses?

In accordance with World Well being Organisation, vectors reside organisms that may transmit infectious pathogens between people, or from animals to people. Many of those vectors are bloodsucking bugs, which ingest disease-producing microorganisms throughout a blood meal from an contaminated host (human or animal) and later transmit it into a brand new host, after the pathogen has replicated.

The WHO describes vector-borne illnesses as “human sicknesses brought on by parasites, viruses and micro organism which are transmitted by vectors”.

In lay man’s phrases, vectors are mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas that unfold pathogens.

Prevalence in India

In India, there are primarily 5 vector-borne illnesses which are prevalent.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever is a particularly frequent vector-borne illness in India, unfold by the mosquito chew of the daytime feeder, Aedes aegypti. 1000’s of individuals are affected yearly in India, particularly through the monsoons.

At present, there isn’t a direct treatment or vaccination for dengue fever however one’s situation will be improved and cured by a mix of medical and residential remedy.

Nipah Virus

The Nipah Virus is transmitted to people by animals like contaminated pigs and bats. In India, the Nipah Virus is alleged to mostly unfold by date palm saps which are contaminated with both urine or saliva of fruit bats.

Like most viruses, the signs of the Nipah Virus an infection too are flu-like signs that may happen as much as 5 to 14 days from being affected.

Because the an infection spreads additional within the physique, it could actually result in respiratory sicknesses and encephalitis (irritation of a number of components of the mind). In 2018, the state of Kerala noticed 19 instances.


Malaria has an extended historical past in India. In reality, it’s nonetheless just about an epidemic in India. Malaria is unfold by the chew of the feminine anopheles’ mosquito, which in flip is a provider for a parasite referred to as Plasmodium.

The World Well being Organisation information reveals that 219 million folks have been contaminated with malaria and 435,000 died worldwide from the illness simply in 2017.

Though India hopes to be malaria-free by 2030, at the moment virtually 87 % of malaria instances in South-East Asia are from India itself.

Zika Virus an infection

The Union Ministry of Well being and Household Welfare reported India’s first case of Zika virus an infection on 21 September, 2018, when a 78-year-old lady from Jaipur, Rajasthan, examined constructive.

Following this, the state authorities and Central well being authorities began intensive programmes for testing. On 2 November, 2018, 157 folks have been discovered to be constructive, of those, 63 have been pregnant ladies.

Aedes aegypti, the identical mosquito that causes dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever, is the vector right here. It normally bites throughout day time. In regular instances, the illness isn’t life-threatening. Nevertheless, in pregnant ladies, Zika virus an infection can result in extreme defects within the unborn youngster.

Japanese encephalitis

The illness principally impacts children between three to 6 years outdated. Japanese encephalitis impacts each people and animals, and is unfold by vectors like mosquitoes, pigs and water birds. It’s the main explanation for encephalitis (irritation of a number of components of the mind) throughout Asia.

Simply final yr, greater than 150 infants and youngsters died as a consequence of this viral illness in Muzaffarpur, Bihar after consuming contaminated litchis. In India, nonetheless round 1,500 to 4,000 instances are reported yearly.

Risk to India

Vector-borne illnesses like malaria, dengue and chikungunya aren’t low-cost for India. They carry a socio-economic burden of $3 billion to $4 billion yearly for India, in line with a research by the World Well being Organisation.

Specialists consider that local weather change is altering the geographical and seasonal distribution of vector-borne illnesses. As an illustration, the variety of mosquitoes would improve between March and April after which with the summers, it could drop. Nevertheless, that isn’t the case anymore with the nation experiencing early rains.

Waterlogging within the monsoons is an ideal breeding situation for mosquitos, thus rising the danger of its unfold that turns into even larger in areas with hygiene points.

Prevention of those illnesses

Prevention will be finished by sustaining neat and clear environment, by cleansing blocked drains, avoiding waterlogging, emptying stagnant water our bodies (water collected in outdated tyres, pots and pans, coolers, small puddles at development websites), preserving water tanks and containers tightly coated, pouring oil over the water sources, the introduction of larva consuming fish into the water our bodies to cut back mosquito breeding.

Inputs from companies

Related Articles

Back to top button