Fogging, awareness reduces dengue cases in city to 936
Cases of dengue, at 936 till 10th October, have fallen from last year which had more than 5500 cases in Kamrup (M) making it the most vulnerable district. In the last two-three years the cases had increased at an alarming rate but this year it has decreased due to the fogging activity that was undertaken actively by the health department and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC).
Speaking to G Plus, Joint Director of Health Services, Kamrup (M), Dr. Ganesh Saikia said that it is due to the stagnant water that this type of disease is increasing in the city. “Earlier the disease of dengue was transmitted from Delhi, Mumbai and other big cities but now the disease has become local. Last year no cases had been reported from Sonapur but this year 95 cases have been detected from that area,” said Dr. Saikia.
The city has four zones namely the Capital zone (Dispur), South Zone (Dhirenpara), West Zone (Pandu FRU) and East Zone (East Guwahati State Dispensary) and out of the four zones, East Zone is affected the maximum with 358 cases followed by Capital Zone with 209. “Last year the most affected area was South Zone for which we have given more emphasis more to that area and therefore the cases have decreased to 105. West Zone reported 151 cases and 18 cases have come from unknown areas,” Dr. Saikia informed.
The state reported more than 1200 cases. Dr. Saikia further informed that the mosquito breeds in clean water and the wee hours of morning is more vulnerable. Except the three districts of Chirang, Karbi Anglong and Karimganj, all other districts of the state have reported dengue cases this time. With 132 cases, Jorhat is the second worst dengue-affected district this year followed by Tinsukia with 63 cases.
This year, Barpeta and Golaghat both reported 25 dengue-positive cases, followed by Nalbari with 20 cases, Goalpara with 19, Dibrugarh with 14, Sivasagar with 13, Darrang with 12, Dhemaji with 11, Kamrup with 10, Kokrajhar with 10, Dhubri with 9, Nagaon with 8, Lakhimpur with 7, Bongaigaon with 5, Udalguri with 5, Cachar with 4 and Morigaon and Sonitpur with 3 cases each. Hailakandi has reported one dengue case till date.
No scarcity of money and chemicals for fogging activities
The Kamrup (M) health department and GMC are conducting fogging activities in all the 31 wards of the city every 15 days and the third round of fogging has been completed. The fourth round has started from 9th October which will continue till 3rd November. This time the concerned department has emphasized on awareness and fogging activities to lessen the number of cases and therefore fogging is done twice in each place. “There are 29 fogging machines in GMC out of which two are vehicle mounted and the rest are manual machines. The chemical used in fogging is melathon and one litre of chemical is mixed with 19 litres of diesel,” said Dr. Saikia.
The joint director further informed that fogging could decrease the density of the mosquitoes but not the infectivity and therefore it is necessary that people must be aware and keep up the habit of disallowing water to become stagnant. “We have asked the people to cooperate with us and help the workers to lift the machine in the hilly areas while fogging and asked them to guide the officials to where the fogging needs to be done. We also asked them to keep the doors and windows open and keep food covered so that the fog can enter the house to get rid of the mosquitoes. They have also been suggested to feed the children a bit early so that the fog couldn’t harm them,” said Dr. Saikia.
He also reiterated that during heavy rainfall, heavy wind fogging cannot be done and therefore it might take more than 15 days to do the same twice within the targeted days. Fogging is a costly affair as the chemicals are costly and the labourers are also affected by the fog for which they need treatment. This time there is no crisis of fund or chemicals for fogging but it depends upon the public as to how they accept it and cooperate with the officials to point out the areas which are vulnerable.
Water crisis is one of the reasons for dengue
As the city is facing huge water crisis people collect rain water which is one of the main reasons that the cases of dengue are more in the city. “It has been seen during the awareness meeting that people harvest rain water and when we asked them to throw the water away they refused citing acute crisis of water in their areas; they also do not keep the water covered which is even more dangerous. The dengue mosquito breeds in clean water and the water which is stored should be changed every seven days,” Dr. Saikia said.
He said that as the people in the hilly areas have to go a long way for water they do not waste a single drop and such water kept stagnant for more than seven days allows the mosquito to breed in it. At Paltan Bazaar police reserve there is ample number of mosquitoes as people harvest water in buckets, vessels, pots etc. Open dumping of solid waste is also common in the city and contributes towards the high breeding of mosquitoes.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes opt for breeding in tyres while the Aedes albopictus prefer breeding in open battery boxes. Discarded earthenware, paper cups and glass bottles are other sources of mosquito’s larvae.