Stagnant water breeds malaria, dengue

Even a small quantity of water, as little as 40 ml, can grow mosquitoes leading to such deadly diseases.

June 10, 2019 01:06 am | Updated 10:26 am IST - HYDERABAD

With the summer season making way for monsoons, in a few days people will push their air-coolers to a corner, and rainwater will stagnate around homes.

Even if a small quantity of water, as little as 40 ml, is left stagnating in anything or placed inside and outside homes, it can serve as perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes which transmit virus causing dengue, malaria, and other life-threatening vector-borne diseases. Depending on the severity of dengue, treatment in private hospitals can run into lakhs.

Officials, and staff from Telangana Health Department who conduct awareness sessions by visiting homes said that there were times when they saw mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water inside discarded tyres, disposable plastic cups, coconut shells thrown around homes, and inside stored water vessels.

Anopheles mosquitoes carry parasites which cause malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Viral diseases are transmitted by Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and virus which causes Japanese Encephalitis is transmitted by Culex genus mosquitoes.

Programme officer, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Telangana, Dr. S. Prabhavathi said that while Aedes Aegypti genus mosquitoes breed in clean water, Anopheles and Culex genus mosquitoes breed in dirty water. However, the official said, Anopheles Stephensi which carries malaria-causing parasite in urban localities, breeds in waters stored in containers.

Creating awareness

“Usually, number of malaria cases increases from the month of June, and dengue from the month of July. We observe June as anti-malaria month and July as anti-dengue month. Our staff go from home to home to inform people that they should not let water stagnate in vessels, or anywhere in and around homes. Awareness sessions, Information, Education and Communication material is distributed,” Dr. Prabhavathi said. Blood smear tests are conducted in 10 per cent of the population to know if anyone is suffering from malaria. The highest number of cases were reported in Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Hyderabad and Asifabad, and highest number of dengue cases were reported in Adilabad.

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