Summer brings in fear of mosquito menace

Hyderabad: Even as people are up in arms over the dog menace, they are getting ready to fight another enemy: Mosquitoes.

Last summer mosquitoes wreaked havoc in several localities, forcing the GHMC to identify close to 125 dengue hotspots and organise a 10-day medical campaign. Residents are now apprehensive of a repeat of the torture.

The most vulnerable areas include the areas along Lower Tank Bund road, Alwal, Malkajgiri, Shamshabad, Santoshnagar Colony, Habsiguda, Tolichowki, Ramnagar, Adikmet, Kukatpally, Baghlingampally, Koti, Afzalgunj, Diamond Point and Tarnaka.

"Despite living in a gated community and spending thousands on maintenance, we are unable to curb this annoying menace. Our society president's call to the GHMC authorities went in vain. We don't remember the last time the GHMC carried out with anti-mosquito chemicals," said Geeta Sree D., a techie residing in an apartment at Kukatpally Housing Board Colony.

"There is drainage in Jubilee Hills Road No.5, Venkatagiri colony and Krishnanagar that has not been cleaned for quite a while. This overflow is nauseating and is breeding mosquitoes, which may lead to malaria," said Krishna Surya, a resident of Jubilee Hills.

The menace has become the talk of the town with many taking to social media to vent their ire in the form of memes and jokes. "Send help and prayers, mosquitoes have me, hostage," wrote one Hyderabadi.

GHMC chief entomologist Dr Ram Babu said that their focus was on lakes, the Musi river and nalas, major breeding grounds during the summer.

" We are carrying out drone-led anti-larval operations targeting the culex mosquitoes. We are working in phases, as each zone has been assigned one drone. We also have 302 small fogging machines and 63 large ones that have been going to colonies and individual homes, though fogging isn't the perfect solution," he said, adding that chronic breeding points like function halls, schools, construction sites, locked homes and open flats will be the next of their agenda.

Thankfully, there has been no recent spike in mosquito-borne diseases, doctors said preventive measures now could help stop the menace.

Dr Rahul Agarwal, consultant general medicine at a hospital in Hitec City, said that the given number of diseases that mosquitoes spread forced the Gates Foundation had labelled them the deadliest forms of life on the planet.

"Diseases that are commonly spread by mosquitoes are dengue, malaria, zika virus and chikungunya. To guard against these, people must regularly use mosquito nets, repellents, coils and vaporisers and prevent accumulation of water in utensils, coolers and drums," Dr Agarwal said.

He said that people can start experiencing the symptoms two days before the illness and two days after the fever is gone. "Most dengue cases are asymptomatic or show mild symptoms. After an incubation period of four to 10 days (from the mosquito bite), the symptoms can last between two and seven days," he advised.

He also recommended painkillers for muscle aches and pills for reducing fever.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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