October 23, 2012 · 0 Comments
Jolted by the death of filmmaker Yash Chopra, reportedly due to dengue and other complications, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has swung into action. It has identified common mosquito-breeding sites in workplaces and is launching a drive to sensitise office administrations.
The dengue-causing mosquito, Aedes Agyptes, attacks during the day, when a majority of citizens are at work. That is why, officials said, it has become imperative for the BMC to educate offices about the hazards of stagnant water. As first step in its campaign, the corporation has identified the areas in offices where mosquito-breeding sites have most often been witnessed. “We will target workplaces. We will educate their housekeeping departments, who in turn will be able to keep an eye on water-collection and mosquito-breeding sites,” said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
In the past, the BMC had one drive to tackle malaria and dengue. Now however, it will make a difference between the two. While the anti-malaria drive focused on slums and construction sites, the campaign to keep dengue in check will concentrate on workplaces and high-rises.
The separation, experts said, is essential. The malaria-spreading Anopheles mosquito thrives on stagnant water, whereas the dengue-causing Aedes needs a steady supply of fresh water. Anopheles needs large water bodies to breed in, while the Aedes can breed in small spots.
The BMC said it has, in surveys, found mosquito-breeding sites near offices’ AC ducts, below water coolers, in dishes under potted plants, and in fountains, Feng Shui bamboos as well as flower arrangements.
The corporation is hoping that, just like its anti-malaria drive, its campaign to check dengue will show results. It, in fact, claimed that the tally of dengue positives has slipped since the first week of October. “In the first week, 68 dengue positive cases were recorded with us. In the second week, the number was 75 and last week 55,” Mhaiskar said on Monday.
Doctors explained that not all dengue positive patients suffer serious complications. “The aged and those with existing problems-such as kidney and heart complications-are more susceptible to hemorrhagic fever due to dengue,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, who consults in Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla. It is thus vital that measures are taken to prevent the spread of Aedes. Using repellents or mosquito nets at night is not much help against dengue.
“We have been contact tracing all positive dengue cases with civic hospitals so that mosquito spread in the vicinity can be detected. We are also collecting emails of co-operative societies so that we can send a list of dos and don’ts,” said Mhaiskar, adding that public action is needed since the BMC cannot go to every house.
By Web Editor