Public Health Department officials have removed or destroyed nearly 12 tonnes of worn-out tyres from rural areas of Coimbatore district such as Mettupalayam and Annur in the last one month alone as part of dengue-control measures.

Accumulation of rainwater in tyres provides breeding space to both Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the dengue-causing virus and Aedes albopictus that spreads the chikungunya virus.

Measures to prevent dengue have been stepped up across Tamil Nadu after the disease claimed the life of a 14-year-old girl in Madurai on Tuesday. Health Department sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that such measures were taken up on a ‘war-footing’ now before the onset of the northeast monsoon in October.

With dengue being a notified disease, it was mandatory for private hospitals to inform the Public Health department.

Hospitals have been instructed to strictly adhere to this instruction as such data will enable the Department to identify if there was an outbreak in any particular place. If there are more than five cases from the same locality, it is considered to be an epidemic.

If more cases were reported from the same area, health workers would be sent immediately to the spot to undertake mosquito-breeding source reduction activities, sources said.

An ‘Information, Education and Communication’ campaign will be taken up in the rural areas of the district by the end of October to sensitise the public on the hazards of rain water accumulating in unused vessels and tanks.

The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board officials, and other local body officials have already been instructed to periodically clean overhead tanks, perform adequate chlorination and ensure broken drinking water pipelines were mended expeditiously, sources added.

Health officials are also going to start health education programmes in schools and colleges in the district.

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