Dengue fever claimed yet another life, taking the death toll in the capital to 33 Tuesday, as more patients continued to pour into city hospitals with the mosquito-borne viral disease showing no signs of abating.
The total number of dengue patients is now 1,631, with 83 new patients admitted in the city hospitals since Monday.
The latest to die of the virus is 55-year-old Pritam of Faridabad town close to the national capital. Health officials said Pritam was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a critical condition on Oct 14 and he died in the early hours Tuesday.
"His condition started to deteriorate during the day and he died of haemorrhage," said D.K. Sharma, AIIMS medical superintendent. The hospital has taken the brunt of the dengue patients. Since Monday, 79 fresh cases were admitted in the hospital taking the number of confirmed dengue patients to 178.
"Another 170 patients are under observation. We will observe them for six days and then do a dengue test to confirm the disease," said Sharma.
Delhi is the worst affected area in the country.
The dengue virus is spread by the bite of the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito that breeds in stagnant water. The disease is marked by high fever, skin rashes and pain in the joints. A sharp drop in the patient's blood platelet count can prove fatal.
The disease has taken alarming proportions since the first week of September when the first deaths were reported.
As the post-monsoon period of September to October each year is known to be favourable months for the breeding of the mosquito, experts are hoping the weather will turn cooler to stop the breeding.
Across the country, 5,501 confirmed dengue cases were reported while the death toll reached 102.
"We are monitoring the situation and additional services are in place," said D.S. Negi, Delhi's health secretary.
Among other states, Kerala reported 794 dengue cases, followed by Rajasthan (697), Gujarat (443), West Bengal (429), Uttar Pradesh (418), Tamil Nadu (307), Punjab (250), Maharashtra (240), Haryana (167), Karnataka (90) and Andhra Pradesh (35).
The country is also battling chikungunya fever, a virus spread by the same species of mosquito. The number of chikungunya patients across India is now 1,625, with 24 cases reported from Delhi.
The maximum number of confirmed chikungunya cases were reported in Maharashtra (679), followed by Karnataka (294), Andhra Pradesh (248), Gujarat (145), Tamil Nadu (111), Madhya Pradesh (62), Kerala (38) and Pondicherry (9).