Eight cases of dengue fever have already been reported in the city, much before the onset of the monsoon. In an alarming development, health officials have found larvae of the aedes egypti mosquito, the main vector that transmits the virus that causes dengue, breeding in houses located in over a dozen places across the district. Last year, over a 1,000 dengue cases were reported in Ludhiana. As many as seven patients had died.
Among the localities where the aedes larvae were found are Haibowal Kalan, BRS Nagar, Shimplapuri, Guru Nanak Pura, Sunet, Kar nail Singh Nagar, Field Ganj, Chet Singh Nagar and Shahi Mohalla.
The health department says it discovered these larvae breeding spots only this month though it began conducting routine checks in all city areas in April. However, this claim is to be taken with a pinch of salt as the incidence of dengue had begun surfacing as early as April and May.
District epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said the aedes larvae found in houses were breeding in water coolers, flower pots or in water that had accumulated nearby. “However, the larvae t hat were found could have been there since last year, as they often become dormant in winter and become active when coolers, flower pots, etc, are filled with water”, he added.
Despite claims to the contrary, health officials have not conducted any major inspections for larvae-breeding spots in the city with large buildings like hospitals and government remaining untouched till now. Last year water coolers at major hospitals were found to be breeding grounds for larvae of the dengue mosquito.
“We have began conducting checks for breeding spots in all city areas from April onwards, though we found the larvae only this month at several places. Our teams destroyed the larvae and also notified the municipal corporation, which has the authority to fine offenders. We will launch a major inspection drive next month when the dengue mosquito breeding season begins in earnest,” said district epidemiologist Anil Verma.