05 October 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Lack of civic hygiene is surely a reason for increasing cases of malaria and dengue. However, going by the recent municipal corporation survey, citizens’ negligence is equally responsible for the spread of the two mosquitoborne diseases.
"We have been taking extensive measures to curb mosquito–borne infections, but the citizens also need to be extra–cautious," said Sadhashiv Patole, head of the insect control department of the PMC. As per the study, among the 90 dengue cases reported so far, indoor breeding of the dengue–spreading mosquito aedes ageypti was found in 57 cases.
Besides, indoor breeding was found in 37 of the 110 malaria cases, added Patole.
"As compared to the outdoor breeding sites, instances of indoor breeding are shockingly high. In only seven cases, breeding spots were found outside the houses — on the premises of the building or in close vicinity of the cases reported. These outdoor breeding spots are the areas wherein the PMC’s role of spraying insecticide and antilarvae measures can be questioned. However, such cases are very few," said Patole.
In rest of the cases, the breeding spots could not be found either inside the house or outside. Such infections may have come from other places due to travel, mobility etc.
"Precautionary measures are being taken. We have identified 23,000 outdoor breeding spots. But since aedes aegypti breeds in fresh water, it is imperative for every household to observe one day a week as ‘dry day’. On this day, all utensils and tanks should be emptied and cleaned. This is an effective measure at the domestic level," said Patole.
Blaming urbanisation for rapid spread of dengue, consulting physician at KEM hospital Rajesh Gadia said, "Water stored for household purpose for days together are ideal breeding places for mosquitoes that spread dengue. Using mosquito nets and repellents will help keep a check."
Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, "Vector mosquitoes breed mostly in earthenware, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage as well as discarded plastic food containers, old tyres and other items that collect rainwater. Proper disposal of solid waste and improved water storage practices which includes covering containers should be followed."
Keep mosquitoes at bay
- Discard unwanted things
- Keep water vessels clean and closed
- Remove water collected in plates under potted plants. Avoid using plates
- Loosen soil in pots to prevent accumulation of water
- Do not keep tray or receptacles under or on top of airconditioners
- Change water in flower vases daily. Clean and scrub the inside of vases
- Prevent accumulation of water
- Use repellents
- Take prompt medical advice in case of fever