Pre-monsoon survey puts Melur in “most vulnerable” category

A pre-monsoon entomological survey done recently had revealed that 20 places in Madurai are vulnerable to outbreak of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.

While the survey in the city was undertaken by the Municipal Corporation, the on-the-spot investigation in other places in the district was done by the State unit of Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), which, in its report, had put Melur as “most vulnerable” to vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria.

The health wing of the Corporation has swung into action to prevent dengue outbreak and eradicate mosquito breeding sources across the city. Places which are put on alert in Madurai include Avaniapuram, Uthangudi, Vilangudi, Reserve Line, K. Pudur, Sellur, Bibikulam, Thathaneri and Jaihindpuram.

“We have conducted sensitisation programmes for medical officers, sanitary inspectors and health nurses. As such there is no threat of dengue outbreak, but still there has to be constant fever surveillance in hot spots identified by us since they are thickly populated,” Yasodha Mani, City Health Officer, Madurai Corporation, said on Saturday.

She said that awareness programmes on prevention of dengue and right methods of drinking water storage will be conducted in schools to drive home the message in an effective manner. According to her, only 10 dengue-positive cases were reported in the last six months in the city even though suspected cases have been reported from various parts of Madurai district.

R.V aradharajan, senior entomologist, whose team is enhancing fever surveillance, has claimed that mosquito control activities were being taken up regularly in all wards. Eight mounted fogging machines had been deployed to cover 16 wards a day. Also, there were 24 hand fogging units used for source reduction in residential areas.

“As far as dengue is concerned, every family must cooperate in its prevention. In these days of water scarcity, it is very important on how you store water. Dengue-causing vector thrives in clean water,” he said.

Meanwhile, IPHA State president S. Elango, who led a team to Melur block for pre-monsoon entomological survey on June 13, said that the mosquito breeding sites there were posing threat once again. “There should not be a repeat of what happened last year in Melur. The municipality and health department have to chalk out preventive strategies quickly before the mosquitoes multiply in Melur,” he said. The study was done in Melur, Therkutheru, hamlets on Melur-Sivaganga Road and Karungalakudi.

Dr. Elango said that even though there was good improvement in sanitation and upkeep, there were still some places such as granite quarries which had become hot spots for mosquito breeding. “Anti-larval and anti-mosquito operations must be a continuous exercise,” he added.