Get their doubts cleared on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Will using the water in which Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae are present cause dengue; will not the use of mosquito repellents prevent the outbreak of dengue; why is the district witnessing more dengue cases this year – were some of the questions the students of PSG Sarvanaja Higher Secondary School shot at R. Damodharan, Deputy Director of Health Services, Coimbatore.

The officer was at the school at the invitation of RK ecran and The Hindu, which conducted a dengue awareness programme for the students. The two had conducted a public awareness campaign a couple of days ago.

Dr. Damodharan told a packed hall of boys and girls what was dengue, what caused it – the Aedes aegypti mosquito, how different it was from other mosquitoes, its breeding places, what people should do to prevent the mosquito from breeding, the symptoms of dengue, etc.

To draw the students’ attention, he and his team had also displayed the mosquito’s possible breeding places – grinding stones, vessels, etc. – so as to give an idea to students. The team had also taken larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquito to the school to show the students how it looked. For, Dr. Damodharan had told the students that the dengue-causing mosquito was also called tiger mosquito because it had stripes on its body. At the end of his lecture and the question and answer session, the students had a chance to look at the mosquito with the help of a lens.

He also told students the steps they could take to prevent the breeding places like closing cement tanks with cloth, or cleaning the tanks at least once in every seven days. It was seven days because that was the larval cycle, he said.

The School Head Mistress R. Rajeshwari said the students’ enthusiastic participation showed their interest in the topic and how they had well received the messages from Dr. Damodharan.

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