CHENNAI: When there was an outbreak of fever cases in a block in Villupuram district recently, the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) went one step ahead, caught mosquitoes in the area and screened them at the State Public Health Laboratory at DMS campus here. Officials took mosquito eradication measures after they found there were dengue virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes. After the activity, fever cases were brought to nil in the area.
From January till date, over 1,000 mosquito pools, each pool contains a minimum 25 mosquitoes, were tested at the State Public Health Laboratory.
“We have found the presence of dengue virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes in a few districts. For one incidence, in Villupuram there were a few fever cases in a particular block. Immediately entomologists were alerted and mosquito eradication activities were carried out within 24 hours of the findings. Result, there were no fever cases in the block after that,” said S Raju, Deputy Director, State Public Health Laboratory.
Health department officials say at the time of dengue fever in the State, this innovative method of mapping mosquitoes (Aedes mosquitoes) for dengue virus has really helped them to contain the virus in the mosquitoes itself before human transmission and this method is a way forward to contain the disease.
Officials also follow certain criteria to collect the mosquitoes. “We collect only when there is density of mosquitoes, fever cases, and hot spots, where fever cases were reported last year or one or two deaths have occurred. The pools collected from Monday to Saturday by the expert entomologists will be tested at the two laboratories, Institute of Vector Control and Zoonoses, Hosur and State Public Health Laboratory at DMS,” Raju said.
The DPH is also planning to expand the programme to screening for all vector borne diseases like Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika after completely establishing dengue mosquitoes review in the field.