Following the death of a 30-year-old man and his four-year-old daughter due to dengue, and taking the death toll in the city to five this year, the BMC will now intensify its anti-dengue campaign in the city.
After targeting housing societies and work places for the past two months, the civic body is now going to extend its campaign to ‘slum like areas’ like chawls and clusters of houses, which could be a potential breeding grounds for the dengue virus.
According to the BMC, there have been 907 dengue cases in the city this year. “We are going to intensify our information, education and communication (IEC) camps by extending them in chawl like areas and are looking to target around 6-10 lakh people. In addition to advertisements and hoardings, pamphlets about dengue prevention will be printed and distributed all over,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner of BMC.
As part of the extended campaign, officials apart from the health department will be sensitised about the disease. “When an official is going for an inspection, he will be sensitised to check for water stagnation in that area. This way awareness will be spread across all people,” Mhaiskar said.
The dengue virus can spread from one person to another for which it is necessary to screen even those who stay around a person who has been diagnosed with dengue.
“After a person is tested positive, there is contact tracing done of around 1,000 people living in close proximity to the person. This helps to identify any other potential victims,” said BMC epidemiologist Mangala Gomare.
Unlike the malaria causing anopheles mosquito, which breeds in dirty and stagnant water, the dengue causing aedes mosquito breeds in fairly clean water and bites during the day.
Focus thus has been on treating and fumigating office areas and housing societies.
“People must make sure that there is not water stagnating in their vicinities. This includes water that collects from AC ducts, flower pots or even stored in kitchen containers. Secondly, prolonged fever and body ache must not be ignored. In case these symptoms don’t subside within a few days, people must get themselves tested and start taking treatment at the earliest,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, senior physician at Kohinoor Hospital.