Howrah reported it's first dengue death this season on August 2. "The patient, Fahim Ahmed, 22, lived in Tikiapara but was admitted to a nursing home in Diamond Harbour where he died," said Bhabani Das, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Howrah district. Das said, till July 31 this year, the district has reported 26 cases of dengue.
Mayor-in-council member Bivas Hazra conducting de-fogging operations at Netaji Subhas Balika Vidyalaya, Shanpur More
The figure, though far less than what it was in the corresponding month last year, could just be the tip of an iceberg. "In 2014 and 2015, there were 55 cases of dengue in July," said Das.The Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has launched a house-to-house drive against dengue. "We are laying a lot of stress on house-to-house survey. Our health workers are visiting each household and inspecting if there is any stagnant water anywhere like in a/c trays, buckets etc. If there is, then they are getting rid of that immediately and making the residents aware of it. We have employed 3,890 health workers and 500 supervisors for this and they are being sensitised to carry out the inspections properly," said municipal commissioner Nilanjan Chattopadhyay.
Besides, meetings were held with school and college principals asking them to insist that students wear full sleeve shirts and trousers to avoid mosquito bites besides keeping the premises clean, said the commissioner.
Empty and abandoned buildings abound in Howrah where garbage dumps and stagnating water are commonplace. "We will be cleaning these buildings including all the 66 ward and seven borough offices," said the commissioner. The HMC along with the health department, have carried out an awareness drive about dengue. "Hoardings with dos and don'ts for dengue will also be put up all over the town," said the commissioner.
That house-to-house checks are being done rigorously is borne out by residents themselves. "Yes, they are checking from door-to-door, asking if anyone has fever, wanting to check out the terrace. In fact, some of us are getting a little irritated," said Bipradas Chatterjee who lives on the hospital premises of Sri Jain Hospital. While Narayana Hospital has 20 cases of dengue, Sree Jain has three dengue patients admitted and Howrah General Hospital has 3 cases.