The monsoon will soon be upon us, this season proves to be a boon for infectious diseases as well as vector borne disease. Mumbai often floods due to incessant rain and commuters face the brunt of travelling in waterlogged areas. Although the worst part is that mosquitoes gain the upper hand and breed in multitudes.
This year the BMC has identified 1,997 dengue breeding spots of Aedes aegypti mosquito, whose have risen in number across the city. Upon inspection 577 malaria breeding spots of anopheles stephensi mosquito were found. They are primary vector which spreads dengue and malaria in urban areas.
Aedes Aegypti has become an invasive mosquito in Mumbai and is breeding in people’s homes. Aedes aegypti is the most common mosquito in the city. One female can lay 1,500 eggs in its lifetime. Even if the eggs are dry for six months, they can be fertilised once they come in contact with water.
The breeding spots were identified during the BMC’s regular drive from January to April, in which they visited visiting 33, 03,882 residential areas in Mumbai.
Mumbai’s chief insecticide officer, Rajan Naringrekar said, “We have destroyed all the breeding spots. BMC has stepped up mosquito control efforts. Additional breeding sites have been found because of heightened inspections”.
“We have expanded our programme to involve as many locations as possible. It’s a big challenge and we are working hard to tackle it. We have been penalising people when breeding spots were detected around their house,” he said.
He further stated “To control such cases, awareness needs to be spread. We are going to spread awareness through various mediums like displaying posters at public places, banners on buses along with messages on social media.
The BMC has issued notices to 4,746 residents and business owners during January to April and collected fines of Rs 14, 34,000
As a preventive measure, in the month of June, BMC will start special drives at various construction sites in Mumbai.
“All the local corporaters will be sensitised about dengue and malaria. Also paramedical training is in place. As the monsoon sets in we could get more cases, because of accumulated water in different parts of the city. Hence, construction sites will be our first target to identify such breeding spots,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC.
According to the recent data given by Health department of BMC. From January to May 18, 86 dengue cases and 1,248 Malaria cases have been reported across the city. Comparing these numbers with last year’s there has been a reduction in the cases. In 2016, dengue cases were 114 whereas malaria cases numbered at 1,628.