MADURAI: Officials of Madurai Corporation are maintaining stoic silence about the prevalence of dengue after a three-year-old girl died recently allegedly because of the disease. The girl, Iswarya, staying in the HMS Colony, tested positive during the ELISA test for dengue and subsequently died in a private hospital. Six more children from Madurai and neighbouring districts have been admitted with dengue fever in private hospitals.
While experts point out that copious rains could be a reason for the breakout of the vector-borne disease, the Corporation has intensified dengue preventive measures in the temple city.
Dr A Kannan, head of the Paediatric department at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, said, “We started receiving severely affected dengue cases in the past two weeks, most of them were children because they may be exposed to the vector-borne disease for first time and also their immunity would be lower than adults.” Sources said a baby affected with dengue was admitted at the Government Rajaji Hospital recently and discharged after being cured.
According to B K Tyagi, Director in-charge, Centre for Research in Medical Entomology (ICMR), even if a small quantity of water stagnates among solid waste, it would become a breeding site for Aedes Aegypti, the dengue spreading mosquito. “This year, we witnessed light rainfall so far but it is 20 per cent more than last year. Moreover, the climatic conditions prevailing in the city is conducive for breeding of mosquitoes. So it may have resulted in dengue cases”, he said.
Explaining the Corporation’s dengue preventive measures, City Health Officer V Yasodha Mani said the civic body had deployed 1,100 sanitary workers specially to ensure that no mosquito breeding sites were available in households. Each of them has been asked to look after at least 300 houses and they would conduct checks on a regular basis. They would also spray larvicide into stagnant water and conduct fumigation to kill mosquito larvae.
Replying to a query, the CHO said since schools were found to be major sites for breeding of mosquitoes, the civic body had conducted a special meeting with representatives of 187 schools.