Kolkata: Dengue is no longer restricted to the northern fringes of the city where thousands have been affected, but has spread its tentacles to south and central Kolkata. According to figures available with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) clinics, there has been a worrying spurt in the number of affected across at least four borough areas which include Tollygunge, Jadavpur and Anwar Shah Road (borough X) in the south and College Street, Surya Sen Street and Keshab Sen Street (borough V) in the central part of the city.
According to TOI report the number of those testing positive for dengue in borough X stood at 35 till July this year, it had climbed to 60 in August. In borough V, the number of patients has jumped from 10 till June to 30 in August. Between January and August, 210 have been affected by dengue in Kolkata, according to the KMC. In borough VI (Elliot Road, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, SN Banerjee Road, New Market area, Nonapukur), the number of affected has jumped to 25 at the end of August from 15 till a month ago.
At borough VII (Park Circus, Tiljala, Topsia, Karaya, Picnic Garden), the number of dengue patients has gone up from 20 till June to 35 at the end of August. The rise has been sharper at borough IX (Alipore, Chetla, part of Diamond Harbour Road) where the number of dengue-affected has jumped from 20 till June to 30 in the end of August. The numbers, though are far lower than 2016 when more than 30 had died of dengue in the state.
The civic authorities admitted that the spurt has been a sharp one and has left them worried. So far, 16 deaths have been recorded in the city. All the victims have either been from South Dum Dum or from the districts. But the sudden surge in the number of affected in the south and central painted a grim picture, said a KMC official. “So far, dengue had been restricted to the northern fringe. But over the last one month, it has spread to new areas which have seen a huge number of patients in previous years. Areas like Jadavpur, parts of Tollygunge, Jodhpur Park, Anwar Shah Road, College Street and Surya Sen Street have always been vulnerable. We have seen a 20% spurt in these areas,” the official said. North Kolkata remain relatively unaffected, though.
Since 2012, when more than 100 succumbed to dengue in Kolkata, the disease has taken the same route. It has originated in Dum Dum and spread along the EM Bypass, eventually penetrating south and central Kolkata. The pattern has not changed, according to a civic health official. “Dengue has spread much slower this year, remaining confined to the northern fringes for nearly two months. But this is the period when the epidemic reaches its peak. So, the fact that it’s spreading to the traditionally vulnerable areas isn’t really a surprise,” he said.