New Delhi: Kerala has recorded 5,801 dengue cases in 2013, a sharp increase from last year, health ministry figures show.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha Tuesday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Kerala reported maximum 5,801 dengue cases followed by Karnataka (3,775), Tamil Nadu (3079) while 12 cases have come from Delhi till the end of July.
Toll has been highest in Kerala and Maharashtra, both reporting 19 deaths each. In Karnataka, 11 people have died while six have succumbed to the disease in Madhya Pradesh.
The minister said total dengue deaths across the country till July this year were 56 while it was 76 in 2012.
Dengue, a vector-borne disease, has affected major cities of the country. This year 15,893 cases have been reported, a sharp increase from 8,899 cases of last year.
The health minister said there is no single reason for the increase in cases. There could be various man-made and environmental factors, he said.
Azad said, "The unprecedented growth in population, unplanned rapid urbanisation and inadequate waste management are reasons behind the outbreak."
Water supply mismanagement, gaps in public health infrastructure, increased mobility of population and poor infrastructure to monitor mosquito breeding were some other reasons cited by the health minister.
Dengue fever is a communicable disease and its symptoms include high fever for four to five days, usually accompanied by severe headache, pain in eyes, muscles and joints besides rashes. After the fever goes away, blood platelet count starts dipping. This is the most dangerous phase of the disease.