A steady decline in suspected dengue cases across Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka has been marred by a spike in cases of malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, over this week. This was stated by Dr Naveen Chandra Kulal, district vector-borne disease control officer, according to a Times of India report. Notably, regions across India have seen a spike in mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya following heavy rains.
While the district reported 952 ‘line-listed’ or confirmed cases of dengue from January 1 to August 31, there were 1,341 cases of malaria in the same period, Dr Naveen told reporters on Wednesday. He also told that the district health and family welfare office is constantly working to keep mosquito-borne diseases under check. 65% and 90% of the total verified dengue and malaria cases, respectively, were reported from Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) limits.
Despite trying to provide protection from mosquitoes in MCC limits through various means, surveillance activities against the mosquito-borne had shown that open terraces and external extended window sills were proving to be fertile spots larvae breeding. Larvae were also found to be thriving in flower pots inside and outside homes and in gardens, overhead water tanks, he said.
The water trays of old refrigerators, lucky charm money plants, and bamboo shoots in glass jars in homes were also found to be breeding spots for the disease-spreading aedes aegypti and Anopheles mosquito larvae.
Emphasizing that community participation was crucial in controlling mosquito-borne diseases, Dr Naveen urged people to approach the department for guppy fish, which can serve as bio-larval containment agents. “Efforts are on at various levels to increase the production of guppy fishlings,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Praveen Kumar C H, district disease surveillance officer, said that people should remain cautious about contracting leptospirosis and not venture into stagnant water bodies formed due to rains across the district or ones that are frequented by rodents.
The district reported 30 cases of leptospirosis during July, including 17 in MCC limits, 6 in Bantwal, 4 in Belthangady and 3 in Puttur taluk. There have been no fatalities reported due to this disease thus far.
In Tamil Nadu, the Greater Chennai Corporation had last month announced fines up to Rs 10 lakh on government and private hospitals that fail to keep a check on mosquito- breeding sites.
The civic body had also urged heads of departments of all government offices, including the Secretariat, to keep their premises clean of mosquito larvae.