Dengue scare in Mumbai: Mosquitoes thriving in high-rises

  • Priyanka Vora and Rishma Kapur, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 08, 2014 16:50 IST

Civic officials have found a disturbing trend in Mumbai, which has been battling the dengue virus for a while now. More than 90% of dengue breeding sites detected by the civic pest control officers in October were in residential buildings.

“I must have treated over 100 patients for dengue this season and all of them stay in high-rise buildings. Also, we have seen multiple members of the same family and residents of building being detected with dengue,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, physician, Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road.

In October, the civic insecticide department’s pest control officers found 1,180 breeding sites in the city. Of this only 100 were detected in slum areas; the other sites were located in residential buildings. “We have found breeding in homes or buildings of those who were detected with dengue. The Aedes mosquito has a flight of just 50m and hence people should eliminate breeding sites in and around their homes to avoid contracting dengue,” said R Naringrekar, chief insecticide officer.

Recently, Naringrekar’s team found larvae breeding in a showpiece fountain kept in a Bandra resident’s home. “There is no way our team can screen each home in the city. People should eliminate any articles that can contain clean water,” added Naringrekar.

Dr Jalil Parkar, physician at the Lilavati hospital, said many people have potted plants in their homes, which has emerged as a major breeding spot for dengue mosquito. “We are treating around four to five new patients of dengue every day,” said Dr Parkar.

Across the city, Byculla (E ward) has emerged as the top breeding ground for dengue-spreading mosquitoes — 1,179 breeding spots were identified this year. “We are treating patients from Bhindi Bazaar, Mohammad Ali road,” said, Dr Hussain Nalwalla, general physician from Byculla.

After Byculla, parts of Chembur, Govandi (M/east ward ) recorded the second-highest dengue breeding sites in the city with 397 such spots, followed by parts of Andheri and Vile Parle (East) (K/E ward) with 385 Aedes mosquito breeding sites. “This year, a majority of dengue patients are deteriorating in a short span of time. Also, the symptoms are not the common fever and rash,” said Dr Deepak Namjoshi, Criti Care Hospital in Andheri, which has treated about 60 cases of dengue infection in the past two months.

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