With the first case of dengue viral fever getting reported in the Vellore district recently, the city corporation has intensified preventive measures. Steps such as distribution of larvicide, fogging operations and campaigns educating about the disease is in process in the fort city.
The municipals staffs go door to door to spray a diluted chemical called ‘Temephos’ in the water containers. This diluted chemical kills the developing larvae, and is mixed at a ratio of one ml per litre in the water containers except those used for drinking.
“The distribution of the Temephos chemical has completed its fourth round of spraying under the 6-day block method.” said Priyamvatha, Vellore corporation health officer.
“However in smogging operations, only three out of four wards need to be covered in every zone in the Corporation,” she said.
The treatment need to be carried out once in a week. Even the fogging machine that spreads the ‘Pyrethrum’ cloud to kill the mosquitoes on streets, visit an area once in 12 days.
“Now, a total of 40 persons are involved in the operation involving the members from the zonal offices,” said the health officer.
“Steps are also being taken to purchase more fogging machines.”
Apart from this, the Corporation also sprays Bactericide BT 14 in the drains on roads and stagnating water bodies.
But despite all these efforts, lack of public awareness seem to affect the preventive measures taken by the corporation.
“The public hesitates to allow us to mix the chemical in the water tanks.” said Balamurugan, sanitary inspector.
“Some get the chemical from us promising that they would use it but pour it out later.”
“We fear about the side effects of the chemicals that are mixed in the water,” said Sharadha Chandrakumar, a homemaker from Sankaranpalayam. “But, if our neighbours accept to mix the chemical, we are also ready to allow the officials to mix it,” she said.
“The chemical is approved by WHO and is in use for the past 25 years. Normally, WHO doesn’t approve a drug used for abate, so this chemical had also undergone many tests before it was approved for use,” said the sanitary inspector.
To avoid chemical, the public must keep their water containers closed avoiding the mosquitoes to breed and should not allow stagnation of water anywhere, said the health officer.