This was the year India’s urban spaces were held hostage by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector of dengue. As several cities including Bangalore and Chennai faced huge issues with garbage disposal, the incidence of dengue spiked sharply. Uncleared garbage, poor drainage systems and stagnant sewage provide ideal conditions for the breeding of mosquitos.
As garbage piled up in mountains along city streets and local authorities refused to dispose of the waste, the cities’ hospital beds filled up with rising cases of dengue. City police issued text messages to citizens urging them to wear protective clothing and carry mosquito repellant as the root cause of the problem seemed to show no signs of being addressed.
Dengue is caused by the bite of a mosquito infected with the dengue virus. It cannot be transmitted directly from person to person. Unfortunately, there is no known vaccine to prevent dengue; a person showing any of these symptoms should consult a doctor immediately. A recent news report documented one case of recovery through papaya leaf juice, although this remedy is not full vetted by medical authorities. In this case, prevention is truly better than cure.