Hundreds of fever cases were reported the same time last year

This time last year, Health Department officials were grappling with a dengue outbreak in the district.

Last September, Madurai district witnessed an epidemic-like situation, especially in Melur block where hundreds of dengue positive cases were detected, and the grim situation worsened in many pockets the following month.

“We are now focusing on the preparedness of local bodies to prevent vector, water and airborne diseases based on past experience,” S.Senthilkumar, Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai district, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

A meeting to chalk out the district-level action plan was convened on September 4 at the behest of Collector L. Subramanian, who instructed the local bodies and health officials to work in tandem and create public awareness of how to prevent diseases through community participation.

Starting from September 16, preparatory meetings and rallies will be organised in all the 13 blocks in the district to prevent the possible outbreak of diseases in October in the wake of the monsoons.

“Since monsoon rains are expected from the first week of October, we have asked local bodies to be alert. If every house and its surroundings are clean, the job is half done,” Mr.Senthilkumar noted.

Safe water storage, solid waste management, supply of chlorinated drinking water, garbage removal and prevention of mosquito breeding are key to combating dengue. Sanitary workers have been directed to clean overhead water tanks in rural areas, he said.T. John Victor, District Malaria Officer, said fever surveillance had been stepped up and Primary Health Centres put on alert.

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