As many as 2,591 children were randomly picked up from eight sites in Delhi, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Wanda between 2012-2015. Of them, 1,525 kids are already exposed to the disease. A multi-Centre community-based study conducted by Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) in eight sites on more than 2,000 children found that almost 70 per cent of the kids between the age of 5-10 years already had dengue anti-bodies, which means the children had been exposed to dengue but most of them were not aware about having the disease. Lack of awareness among the parents and children was one of the major reasons. As many as 2,591 children were randomly picked up from eight sites in Delhi, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Wanda between 2012-2015. Of them, 1,525 kids are already exposed to the disease. "Almost 70 per cent of the children had dengue-anti-bodies, i.e, they had been exposed to dengue. We had collected the blood samples of the children after which we got to the results," said Dr Suneela Garg, HOD, community medicine, MAMC. If a person has ever suffered any kind of fever, the body produces anti-bodies which fight the particular disease to get into the body again. But it also exposes the human body to become vulnerable to the other type of fever. "It is not only the lack of awareness but even some infections can pass of as mild infections and produce antibodies," added Dr Garg. In Delhi, the samples were collected from two sites - Delhi Gate and Balmiki Basti. Located in central Delhi, children residing in these areas were exposed to open drains and were living in unhygienic conditions. "There is hardly any fogging done in our area. A pipeline is being laid in our area due to which the entire road has been dug up. Due to the garbage and debris, there are too many mosquitoes in our locality," said Asha Rani, a Balmiki Basti resident. Dengue occurs in two forms: Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). While dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness, DHF is a more severe form, which may cause death. Any person suspected of having dengue fever or DHF must see a doctor at once and take the necessary medicines as directed by the physician post a blood test. "The study also highlighted that exposure to dengue starts early and keeps on increasing with the age. The DHF was found to be affecting the children of less than of 15 years of age," said Dr Garg. Doctors say treatment is symptomatic with no specific cure, so if patients use pain medicines indiscriminately there is a risk of them becoming resistant to them. "It is important that people should not ignore mild fever and always visit a doctor. Proper anti-larval measures should be taken," said Dr SP Byotra, senior consultant, department of internal medicine, Sir Ganga Ram hospital.