Delhi readies to prevent dengue outbreak

June 20th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) With the first case of dengue reported in the national capital early this week, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is bracing itself to control any further outbreak of the potentially fatal disease. “We started checking potential mosquito breeding grounds around the city. In all 3,200 workers have fanned out across the city,” MCD’s health officer N.K. Yadav told IANS.

For starters the MCD launched awareness campaigns across the city early this month and have roped in schoolchildren and teachers to spread the message. In addition the civic agency is also organising public meetings and exhibitions in all the 272 wards of the city.

“Public awareness campaigns are going on throughout the city. We are using mediums like television, radio and newspapers to build up an awareness campaign,” said Deep Mathur, MCD’s director (Press and Information).

Last year a total of 548 dengue cases were reported. One victim was killed. In 2006, the number of cases reported were 3,366, with 2,163 cases reported in October of that year alone.

“Most people don’t understand the problem. They don’t keep a check and don’t control rainwater stagnating in the open near their establishments. It is only when dengue strikes that they understand the problem. We need help from the public to control it as the problem starts from their respective houses,” explained Yadav.

“The present climate, which is between 28-30 degree Celsius with high humidity, is conducive to breeding of the Aedes mosquito,” said Bir Singh, professor of community medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

“This particular climate helps them thrive and transmit the disease. But once temperatures start dipping down from November the mosquito dies itself.”

Thirty-four hospitals in the city have been identified for diagnosis and treatment of dengue and chikungunya cases.

Temephos, an insecticide that can help prevent breeding of the Aedes mosquito, is being distributed free of cost by MCD.

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