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Monday, August 13, 2012

Mosquitoes prefer youth when they bite Malaria And Dengue Attack Most Aged 15-30

Mumbai: Mosquitoes may have lost their sting in Mumbai but the deadly vector prefers youth when it bites. In the last three years, malaria and dengue have most attacked people in the age-group of 15-30 years, according to a survey. 

    The study by Metropolis, a chain of diagnostic centres, said cases of malaria and dengue have gone down in three years. 
    The survey reveals that the positivity rate of malaria decreased from 17.48% in 2009 to 6.25% 2011 in Mumbai. Similarly, that of dengue decreased from 
37.19% in 2009 to 21.36% in 2011. 
    Though overall the diseases have seen a downward trend, the survey revealed that the age-group 
of 15-30 years has been affected the most. 
    "People in this group have shown the highest incidence of malaria and dengue in 2011. While 
42.84% people who tested positive for malaria were from this age group, 64.40% of those who tested positive for dengue fell in this age-group," said Dr Jatinder Bhatia, chief of lab services at Meropolis Healthcare Ltd. 
    "Effective prevention strategies such as research on vaccines, environmentally-safe insecticides, alternative approaches to disease control and training programs for healthcare workers can reverse this growing trend," she added. 
    While these figures are only that of the private diagnostic centre, the official figures from BMC are higher as they cater to a bigger group. 
    BMC statistics show that more than 76,000 Mumbaikars had tested positive for malaria, while dengue positive cases were 
more than 1,000 last year. 
    Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said malaria cases had been brought down drastically since 2010. "It is a result of sustained activities at the ground level. When the numbers had increased to 
such high levels in 2010, we followed a five-point programme." 
    Overall, too, the city has been seeing a downward trend when it comes to malaria. 
    Between January and June over the years, 20,000 malaria cases were recorded in 2010; 24,000 in 2011 and 8,000 this year. Overall, the city has seen a 60% drop in malaria cases. 
    While the age group should have the strongest immunity system, doctors say that it is also the most active and thus more susceptible to stress. 

    "The number of people testing positive in this age group may be high, as its actual population is high. Apart from that, the group is also the most aware and thus would prefer to get tested and treated in case of a disease," said a senior civic hospital doctor. "Moreover, high stress and unhealthy life make the immunity system of the age group weak," he added.


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