With sporadic monsoon showers finally hitting the city, doctors are once again advising extreme caution and healthy lifestyle to ward off susceptibility to vector borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya.
Clearing the cloud of popular belief, district malaria officer Dr Sujata Pardeshi said, “People usually believe that mosquitoes only breed in unclean places, but these insects, which spread diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya also breed in fresh water.”
She stressed the need to observe cleanliness in homes and surroundings, prevent water logging, emptying of water coolers and pitchers, keeping food covered, boiling hand pump water before drinking and washing hands before eating and after defecation.
“People should ensure that water kept in vases and other decorative pieces are changed every three days. Even rainwater accumulated on terraces or water gutters on balconies can be good breeding places for mosquitoes if not cleared on time,” Pardeshi said.
She also advised that people should release guppy fishes in stagnant pools or puddles in the area and other places where mosquitoes breed, which helps in controlling the spread of malaria. The fish eat up the larvae and eggs of mosquitoes,” Pardeahi said.
She added that there are over 70 guppy fish breeding centres in the district, and this is a cost efficient as well as one of the best methods to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
“Parents should take special care of children and make sure that no scrap material is scattered in the surroundings, as rainwater could accumulate in containers and are favourable for mosquito breeding. Moreover, parents should also inculcate the habit of washing hands and other hygienic methods,” said Dr Lalit Rawal, a paediatrician.
He added that normally a steep increase in the number of flu and malaria cases is witnessed among school going children during the monsoon. “Even school officials should be alert and keep their premises clean and tidy,” Rawal said.
70 guppy fish breeding centres in the district and this is a cost efficient as well as a good method to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.