KOCHI: The intermittent rainfall that the district has been witnessing for the past several months has put the Health Department in a tight spot.
A report sourced from the department shows that 39 confirmed dengue cases were reported in the district this month itself till Saturday. Between June and October, 305 confirmed dengue cases were reported here.
“Climate change is one of the main factors behind the spread of dengue cases. Dengue-causing mosquitoes love freshwater and the intermittent rainfall and stagnant rainwater provide them with the perfect breeding spot,” said Dr Jils George, head of the General Medicine Department in Ernakulam Government Medical College. He said public awareness is key to stop the spread of dengue.
Though dengue cases have been reported in the district since January, the number has seen a significant rise since June. This year, the highest number of cases – 95 – were reported in July. The data also reveals that dengue outbreak in urban areas is higher than last year.
“There has been a rise in dengue cases this year. However, we are vigilant and are actively coordinating with all the departments as well as city corporation and Kudumbashree members, Asha workers, health officials and ward health sanitation workers,” said Dr Sreedevi S, additional district medical officer.
She said during inspections at various places, including Parambithara, they found that drip pans in refrigerators were filled with water. “They are enough for mosquitoes to breed. Proper cleaning and sanitation facilities must be ensured in every household. An urban outbreak of dengue is a first,” said Dr Sreedevi. “We are planning on conducting a cleaning drive in the city on Sunday by identifying the most-affected areas,” she said.
The Health Department’s District Vector Control Unit is carrying out fogging in dengue-affected areas, including Thrikkakara as well as the island of Valanthakad, which is about nine km away from the city.