NIV team member MD Gokhale shows larvae sample collected from Jamshedpur. File Picture
Jamshedpur, Sept. 3: The team of entomologists from National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, has detected a large amount of larvae of Aedes Aegypti —mosquitoes that spread dengue — in the city, putting a question mark on the district health department’s month-long campaign to control vector-borne viral outbreak.
The four-member team found the larvae in the localities worst affected by chikungunya and dengue. More than 10,000 people have been hit by the viral outbreak in the city over the last month.
Speaking to The Telegraph, research scientist and a member of the NIV team M.D. Gokhale said they had collected a large amount of larvae of Aedes Aegypti, among other varieties of mosquitoes.
“We will study the larvae and also the pupae stages of the mosquitoes to find out if other mosquitoes are also vectors of malaria in the district. So far, we have seen that larvae of Aedes Aegypti are present in fairly large numbers. It is surprising as the district health officials claimed that efforts have been made to control vectors in the area,” he said.
The research scientist added that creating awareness was the only viable alternative to control vector.
“We collected larvae samples mainly from water collected in containers near residential areas. Merely spraying larvicide and DDT would not serve the purpose. People need to be made aware of the results of storing water unscientifically,” he added.
The team, which arrived on Thursday, has so far visited some of the worst affected localities of the city such as Shastrinagar, Mango, Refugee Colony, Baradwari and Gurudwara Basti. They will leave with the samples on September 6.
Blood samples from affected persons sent to NIV in Pune, School of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta and National Communicable Diseases Centre in New Delhi proved that the city was in the grip of vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya and dengue.
The NIV team found 178 out of 308 blood samples chikungunya positive while School of Tropical Medicine had found two cases dengue positive.
The district administration had sought help from the Rapid Action Force, corporate sector and NGOs to battle the viral menace. However, constant fogging and spraying of larvicide does not appear to have helped much.
District civil surgeon Vibha Sharan said the National Malaria Research Institute (NMRI) team had asked them to repeat spraying in different areas. She added that the failure to do so might have resulted in breeding of the larvae.
“Spraying was interrupted for a week due to an agitation by health workers. We will soon restart spraying in all the areas. We will also resume our awareness drive against letting water accumulate by distributing pamphlets,” she said.