District has 153 cases already; only 41 cases last year

: The prevalence of dengue fever cases in Madurai district this year had gone up by four times when compared to last year.

Even as public health authorities have been taking measures for control of vector borne diseases, several pockets across the district, particularly in Melur block, are right now under the grip of dengue.

This year from January till October 8, according to Health Department sources, the district had 153 confirmed dengue cases while there were only 41 dengue cases last year. Neglect in eradicating mosquito-breeding sources was said to be prime reason for dengue flare up. Another important reason cited by health officials for more dengue fever cases this year was the long summer which made people to store water due to water problem especially in villages. “The water storage practice is very bad in many homes. If water is stored for many days, it becomes a breeding source for dengue-causing vector. Even though we are taking preventive measures, the cooperation of public and local bodies is essential,” an official said on Wednesday.

Health authorities have said that totally 4,378 blood samples of fever-affected persons were sent to the microbiology department of Madurai Medical College for tests this year till now of which 153 tested positive for dengue and they underwent treatment.

“The higher incidence of dengue fever is a cause for concern and we are taking steps to eradicate mosquito breeding sources. Sporadic cases of dengue are being reported from various places,” officials said. Special focus was given to Melur and villages including Kallampatti, Sooragundu and Keelavalavu from where more fever cases are coming. Suspected cases have been reported from Uthangudi and Ulaganeri. In 2010, Madurai district had 214 dengue cases as per health department records.