Garbage dumped at Baldev Basti in Jugsalai on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
A concerned district health department has renewed efforts to control mosquitoes after five confirmed dengue cases were reported by Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur on Monday.
On Tuesday, the health department directed the district filaria officer to adopt a change in strategy in order to combat vectors. The department, which earlier used to spray larvicidal and carry out cleaning drives, will now destroy unused containers, in which mosquitoes breed, in affected areas and educate people about not allowing water to accumulate in residential areas.
The dengue scare resurfaced in Jamshedpur after a nearly month-long lull. The last three confirmed cases were reported on October 5 from Tata Main Hospital.
District filaria officer S.K. Jha said of the five confirmed dengue cases, one patient was from Baldev Basti in Jugsalai, another from Azad Basti in Mango and the third from Patamda. The remaining two were from Adityapur in Seraikela Kharsawan and Hazaribagh.
“As per the latest directive of district civil surgeon Jagat Bhusan, we have asked our men to carry out fogging in the affected areas of Jugsalai and Mango from Wednesday, focussing on identifying and destroying unused containers in which water accumulates,” said the official.
This exercise would be carried out with routine spraying of larvicidal.
“In the past we have seen that unused tyres kept in garages and even in houses and also unused home appliances like coolers and washing machines contain water. The dengue vector breeds in clean water unlike other mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant and dirty water. We had covered almost all the areas while spraying larvicide in August-September and yet dengue has resurfaced, which hints that fresh vectors have started breeding,” said Jha.
The district filarial department has 47 employees out of a sanctioned strength of 90, who would be pressed into service for this drive.
According to records available with the East Singhbhum integrated diseases surveillance programme office, since the first week of August, 61 suspected cases of dengue have been reported, out of which only 39 have been confirmed by the vector lab at MGM Medical College in Dimna.
There have been no deaths so far and no reported cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever.
In 2011, the district witnessed an outbreak of dengue and chikungunya, with one dengue death. In 2010, there were four dengue deaths.