The move comes in the wake of an analysis carried out in district

Department of Public Health, Coimbatore, has sounded the red alert to intensify the anti-dengue operations in both within and outside the Coimbatore Corporation areas. Deputy Director, Health, Coimbatore, R. Damodharan told journalists here on Saturday that the Department sounded the alert on Saturday.

This comes in the wake of an analysis the Department carried out on dengue and fever cases and related it to the monsoon and geography. The past three years’ data suggests that there seems to be a delayed outbreak in dengue this year, as, in Coimbatore dengue cases get reported during the onset of South-West and then North-East monsoons.

This year, because of poor South-West monsoon, there seems to be an outbreak around August-September, Dr. Damodharan said and wondered if it meant the change in bionomics.

The analysis showed that poor monsoon led to increase in dengue cases because people for want of water, stored them in containers or cisterns, which increased mosquito breeding source. And this season the additional contributory factor is power failure because people tend to store as much water as possible to pump them as and when power was available.

These conditions created the ideal climate for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spread dengue. It bred only in fresh water stored in artificial containers.

Dr. Damodharan said that the analysis also showed that the places in old city area, where houses and people were concentrated, reported more dengue cases. “The mosquito gets to bite more people within its 500-metre flying range.”

Though there was “no alarming” situation in the district as far as dengue was concerned, the reason for triggering the red alert was to send rapid action teams and rapid response teams to areas that were vulnerable, he said and likened the red alert to weather reports. “The alert is for the teams concerned to work anticipating the problem.”

He said that following the alert, the newly-formed rapid response team under the Designated Officer, Food Safety, would work in rural areas as a third level defence team. One of the Health Department’s team would work in the Coimbatore Corporation. The State Government has recently passed an order asking the Food Safety team to report to the Deputy Director, Health Services, for anti-dengue operations.

As third-level defence teams, they would be basically attending to tasks that first and second level anti-dengue teams had failed or overlooked to carryout. “It is basically filling in the blanks.”

This would be in addition to the work the newly constituted workers’ team carried out, Dr. Damodharan said. District Collector M. Karunagaran had ordered creation of teams of 20 workers to carry out source reduction work.

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