Hyderabad: The epidemiology wing of the state’s health department has issued a high alert in the state to check the spread of Aedes egypti mosquito which is responsible for dengue and Zika.
Friday has been declared a ‘dry day’ across the state when households have been asked to empty water cans and other storage units at home, upturn and dry them completely, before refilling them with water.
This is meant to ensure that water stored at homes is not left stagnating. But the department is facing a challenge in its implementation as community participation is as enthusiastic as required for the programme to succeed.
Dr S. Prabhavthi, additional director. said, “The spread of daytime mosquito is the biggest concern. Catching adult mosquitoes is not possible but we are trying to kill the larva and we are also using a lot of spraying methods to prevent the breeding grounds for mosquitoes to develop. This mosquito can fly only 400 metres in its lifetime. We can take these measures to control its birth and spread, but people must ensure that they do not allow water to collect inside their homes and also outside.”
Dr S/ Krishna, senior pediatrician, said, “The same preventive measures which are taken for dengue have to be taken for Zika also. The government must implement dry day effectively as this will go a long way in dealing with the problem.”
Dry days ensure that there are no breeding grounds for the female mosquito and this works a long way in helping to control the spread of the disease.
This method has shown results but it can be successful only if there is maximum community participation, explained senior officers of health department.
Dr Ramesh Dasari, paediatrician, explained, “During the monsoon season, people are going to face the dual problem of dengue and Zika. Both diseases are caused by the same mosquito hence there has to be a very strong surveillance program by the government.”
The lower level staff who are assigned the task of spraying have to be totally committed and that there should be a follow-up system to check if they are carrying out their work as they should be.
A GHMC senior officer said, “Sometimes they merely mark the homes stating that they have sprayed the medicines but whether they have actually done or not is not checked. They come after 11 am when most homes have no one and that leads to skipping of the homes. These problems at the ground level must be addressed. Lakeside areas and homes where there is maximum greenery must be randomly checked so that in case of a lapse it can be identified and worked upon.”
Do’s and Dont’s
*Once used, the drums and containers must be completely dried before a refill.
*DO NOT allow clean water to stagnate in pots and pot trays.
*Air-coolers which have been used in summers must be completely dried and packed up so that water does not accumulate in it.
*The water bowls for pets must be cleaned and scrubbed properly and also dried on a daily basis.