THOOTHUKUDI: Distribution of Gambusia Affinis fishlings, is one among various anti-dengue measures that has helped the government control mosquito breeding in the Thoothukudi corporation area, corporation commissioner Dr Alby John Varghese told Express. In March this year, Thoothukudi had a near epidemic situation with 598 suspected dengue cases in its 60 wards. The biggest cause spreading dengue was water being stored in containers over large durations to tackle water shortage.
With effective measures in place, dengue cases in the corporation has come down. The number of dengue suspected cases had come down to 32 in July and only 10 cases have been reported in August so far.
One of the primary measures undertaken by the corporation was the distribution of Gambusia Affinis fishlings, also called the mosquito fish. A native of the Mississippi River, the mosquito fish found its way to the stagnant waters of Thoothukudi due to its fame of feeding extensively on mosquito larvae.
Corporation officials sourced 1 lakh Gambusia fishlings from Krishnagiri and put them at a hatchery in the old corporation campus. With the dengue outbreak in March, two more hatcheries were opened.
Thoothukudi corporation health officer Dr Pradeep Krishnakumar said that they identified 18,000 ring wells, the most common water source for residents and supplied five fish to each of the 6,000 owners to eradicate mosquito breeding.