Dengue, a viral infection transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, is a rapidly growing public health problem in tropical and sub-tropical countries, which appeared in Delhi during the 1990s. The Indian capital is now the most affected area in India with epidemics registered every three to four years. The objective of this research is to understand the link between environmental fragmentation and the geography of dengue in Delhi and examine the role of the combination of factors is responsible for the endemisation of dengue such as lack of infrastructure, governance of the city and the disease, new population behaviour, etc. Urbanisation has always been a factor influencing the emergence of a disease and many studies in health geography have indeed demonstrated that population living in the poor areas of cities were the most affected by classical diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria, etc. This paper examines if the model described in classical medical geography for infectious diseases can be extended to an emerging disease like dengue or if new tools and models need to be created to understand emerging epidemics in urban areas.
Olivier Telle is a post-doctoral associate at the Institut Pasteur, Paris and is also affiliated to CSH, New Delhi. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Rouen.