The number of dengue fever cases reported in the city formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai was about 4,000 during the month of October, according to a Times of India report.

Papaya for sale Public domain image/Md.Saiful Aziz Shamseer
Papaya for sale
Public domain image/Md.Saiful Aziz Shamseer

The high number of cases comes after months of denial about a dengue problem in the Maharashtra capital by BMC officials.

Municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said at a press conference last week dengue’s incidence has increased this year mainly due to the delayed winter (the Aedes Aegypti mosquito thrive and breed in warm, humid weather) as well as lack of awareness among people about the habitat of these dengue-spreading mosquitoes.

“Around 51% of the breeding spots of mosquitoes were found in high-rises, indicating that people’s habits encourage their breeding,” he said.

The number of dengue fatalities in the city has reached 12, with 5 victims reported in the last 7 days.

Related: India’s dengue fever burden much higher than what’s reported: study

With dengue spreading through Mumbai comes the jump in sales of papaya, according to a Mid-Day report today.

This is due to purported claims of medicinal properties of papaya for the treatment of dengue fever.  In recent times, there have been heated discussions and debates on the efficacy of papaya leaves in management of dengue fever especially in increasing platelet count in dengue patients with low platelet count and those who develop hemorrhagic dengue fever.

The report states that Sanjay Pansare, director of APMC fruit market, said, “Ever since the dengue epidemic has hit Navi Mumbai and its neighbouring cities, people have started consuming vitamin-rich fruits like papaya. Around 40 trucks, compared to the regular number of 10 to 15, carrying papaya are unloaded at the APMC market every day.”

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