Ignoring the buzz proving costly for residents in Kerala capital
By Express News Service | Published: 19th May 2017 03:23 AM |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On April 26, Corporation officials and the residents’ associations in the city assembled in a hall above the Coffee House adjacent to the Corporation building.
The agenda was to discuss shortage of drinking water and prevalence of dengue cases. Association representatives highlighted their problems like not getting enough water. Many of them spoke so much that there was little time to discuss the second agenda, controlling dengue.
The Deputy District Medical Officer’s talk on possible prevention measures was cut short due to paucity of time. Some of the residents’ association members argued they were quite aware of the issue and didn’t need big lectures.
The surge in number of dengue cases in the city in the past one week brings to light the lack of awareness among the residents regarding the issue. “Everyone was eager to find a solution to the water woes. They refused to give enough weightage to the looming threat of dengue. It was something they took for granted,” said a health official who attended the meeting.
The number of cases in the city till April 26 was 923 (which is three times higher than that reported last year). In the next 24 days the numbers shot up to 1,900. The city is already termed the dengue capital of the state with the highest numbers reported so far. The reports led to a round of blame game between the Corporation and the health officials.
However, they were unanimous in pointing out that habits, like collecting water in big open containers, are the main reason behind the increase in the mosquito population. It is a well-known fact that Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue virus, breeds only in fresh water.
“We have found many instances of larva growing in fresh water stored inside homes. Some people just leave the vessel undisturbed and uncovered for long,” says senior biologist in DMO office and in-charge of District Vector Control unit, Santhosh Kumar.
“Aedes aegypti is known as the urban mosquito. Rapid pace of urbanisation is also a reason behind the spread of the disease. The more cases are being reported in the city because people from outside come here seeking treatment,” said Mayor V K Prashant.