Local weather plays a vital role in the spread of infectious and vector-borne diseases. A study by a team of experts in Pune has tracked and linked temperature and rainfall variations to the emergence of malaria and diarrhoea cases in Pune and Nagpur cities.
Led by A K Sahai from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the team tried to understand the role of these key weather parameters in the prevalence of malaria and diarrhoea and their spread, especially among children.
From over 3 lakh cases in 1996, India’s malaria cases had dropped to 34,000 in 2018. Similarly, deaths caused due to malaria in the country during the 1990s were above 1,000. However, in recent years, the mortality has been controlled and brought close to 100, as of 2018, stated data issued by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
This year, the progressive cases of malaria (till July 28) have been the highest in Odisha (19,001), Chhattisgarh (18,933), Uttar Pradesh (4,667), Jharkhand (3,991) and Maharashtra (3,090), read NVBDCP statistics.
Monsoon is the transmission season for the majority of vector-borne diseases. But the Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR), which is the difference between the day’s maximum and minimum temperatures, is more crucial in the spread of diseases, co-author Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express.
Normally, the onset of the Southwest monsoon occurs first over Pune, around the middle of June and the season lasts till mid-October. Monsoon onset over Nagpur is realised towards the end of June and continues till September.
Apart from the onset and duration of monsoon in Pune and Nagpur, Dr Awate said the other major difference during this season was that “the weather is cooler in Pune during monsoon as opposed to dry weather conditions prevailing over Nagpur during this period. These variations also factor in the disease caseload from city to city.”
According to the study findings, Nagpur reports more malaria cases than Pune. Cases of malaria start to peak by July and continue to remain high till November in Nagpur. On the other hand, malaria cases in Pune start to emerge during the pre-monsoon season, that is, from May onwards. A sustained number of cases through the four-month rainy season are reported in the city, the researchers found.
Experts traced a higher number of diarrhoea cases being reported in Pune than Nagpur. The case trended during all the four monsoon months in Pune, whereas, caseload grew post July in Nagpur.
“What we understand is that even minor variations in temperature or rainfall over a short period of time combined with the city’s geography contributes to the spread of diseases,” said Sahai, who presently leads the country’s Monsoon Mission team at IITM.
Experts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), who were also part of the study published on Tuesday in the Scientific Reports of Nature, used health and climatological data between 2009 and 2016 for the two cities in Maharashtra.
On the applications of the study findings, the senior IITM scientist said, “Every city has a different geography and climatic conditions. If we are able to combine the climate and health data, it is possible to issue probabilistic health indicator forecasts for Indian cities at least two weeks in advance.”
On the biggest advantage of having an early disease outbreak warning, the Awate said it would allow the government time to arrange adequate medical supplies in addition to the required planning needed to tackle the diseases well in advance.
An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 felt in Nepal, India and China
An earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 hit Nepal, India, and China at around 03.00 pm IST. Tremors were felt in Nepal with light tremors in some cities like Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, and Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The epicenter is said to be 10 km from Phulpingkatti in Nepal. More updates are awaited.
London Bridge Down: Death of Queen Elizabeth brings a moment of reckoning for Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland aged 96 after battling health problems since last October, the Royal Family announced Thursday. Doctors had placed the queen under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Buckingham Palace has just released the following statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her close family rushed to her bedside as doctors grew “concerned” about her health on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said. Her grandson and his wife, Harry and Meghan Markle – who had a public showdown with the Palace, flew in from Canada.
According to news agency AFP, the Queen pulled out of a planned meeting with her senior political advisors on Wednesday, after being told to rest. The previous day she had audiences at Balmoral – her Scottish Highlands retreat, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointed his successor, Liz Truss.
In recent months, the Queen appeared visibly frail and had a series of withdrawals from public engagements. She had taken to walking with a stick and was also seen touring the Chelsea Flower Show in a motorized buggy.
In June, the UK came together for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the British throne. Her husband, Prince Phillip, died last year at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.