The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory to the Tamil Nadu government to take mosquito control measures ahead of the northeast monsoon to prevent the spread of dengue.

This advisory comes against the backdrop of last year’s outbreak of dengue with the onset of the monsoon — between October and December. Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, T.S. Jawahar, Senior Deputy Director General, ICMR, New Delhi, said that the public health machinery in Tamil Nadu must start eradicating mosquito breeding sources to prevent a dengue outbreak. “Pre-monsoon period is a critical time as mosquito breeding peaks October,” he said.

Mr.Jawahar was in the city to participate in a two-day conference on dengue organised by the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology (CRME), a laboratory under the umbrella of the ICMR.

Describing the dengue vector as a versatile virus with changing behaviour patterns, he advised the authorities not to allow water stagnation as that was a breeding source.

Mr.Jawahar had a word of appreciation for the quick response of the Tamil Nadu government and the directorate of public health when cases were reported from various places in the State last year.

K. Kolandaiswamy, Director of Public Health, B.K. Tyagi, Director, CRME, and others spoke on the dengue scenario and control measures.

Scientists, entomologists and public health experts from various States presented papers during the technical sessions on dengue vector dynamics, integrated vector management, community empowerment in dengue control and dengue epidemiology, among other topics at the conference.