GVMC identifies 20 vulnerable areas and takes steps to check the menace

The incidence of malaria in the city has shown an increase this June putting the GVMC on tenterhooks. Alarmed over the rise of cases, the corporation has identified vulnerable areas in an effort to arrest the trend.

Blood smear tests for June have shown a slide positivity rate of 5.2 per cent and 370 cases of plasmodium vivax (PV) malaria. This is higher than the 3.4 per cent SPR in June last year with 251 cases and 3 per cent SPR with 305 cases in June 2011. Alarmingly, while the rate was relatively low for 10,051 smear tests in 2011, it was much higher for 7,089 this June.

Though around the same number of tests - 7,242 - were conducted in June 2012, the incidence was low then. The increase could be attributed to migrant workers from neighbouring districts and States and hostellers who returned from their villages turning out to be carriers though they themselves might not suffer from the fever, said GVMC Health officials on Thursday. The construction workers were living in makeshift tents in unhygienic conditions exposing themselves to mosquito bite, they said. A total of 20 vulnerable areas were identified where anti-larvae operations, spraying houses in problem areas with chemicals and letting off gambusia fish in wells and sumps at construction sites was undertaken, according to Municipal Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana. Efforts would be intensified and all medical personnel would be asked to immediately pass on any information about malaria, he added. All choked areas of storm water drains where garbage was thrown would be cleared.

More In: Visakhapatnam