A day after HT reported about the spurt in dengue cases in Walkeshwar and Napean Sea Road, the civic body’s insecticide department found five dengue-spreading mosquito breeding sites in the locality. In fact, two of the five breeding sites were found in the Walkeshwar flat of dengue patient Jay Gandhi, who is currently recuperating at St Elizabeth Hospital.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said that of the 85% patients who contracted dengue infection this year, the Aedes mosquito, responsible for transmitting the dengue virus, was found to be breeding in their homes. “In Gandhi’s case, the mosquitoes were breeding in a Feng Shui plant and petri dishes of potted plants inside his house. People have to take responsibility of breeding inside their homes,” said R Naringrekar, chief insecticide officer, BMC.
This year, 487 dengue cases have been recorded by the civic body’s epidemiology cell. The number of cases could be even higher as the BMC does not take into account patients whose dengue positivity is confirmed by NS-1 antigen laboratory test, which is a preliminary test compared to more advanced and expensive tests.
Other breeding sites were detected in an earthen garden pot in a building and flower pots in a bungalow in Walkeshwar. “Eggs of dengue spreading Aedes mosquito can survive in dry form also. Hence very little rains allow the eggs to mature. Unlike malaria, where the mosquito has to bite a person suffering from malaria to start the disease transmission, Aedes mosquito is born with the virus,” said Naringrekar.
He added that if indoor breeding is not controlled, the cases will rise higher. “We have been campaigning against discarding unused tyres as they are the most common site for breeding. Last week, we found Aedes breeding in tyres kept on the terrace of a bungalow. The building next to it was reporting dengue cases,” said Naringrekar.