The civic body’s sustained campaign against the mosquito menace seems to be showing results.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) team of insect collectors has said the number of mosquito breeding sites across the city has decreased. The number of breeding sites in August, till date, was 976, while in June and July it was 1,718 and 1,786 respectively.
"In June and July, the mosquito menace was at its peak and, hence, the number of cases of malaria was also the maximum. But, after the civic body's vector control activity (spraying, fogging, anti-larvae treatment), the number of breeding spots has drastically reduced," an officer from the BMC's insecticide department, said.
Every year, the BMC sends out 28 officers to comb every nook and corner of the city for mosquito larvae. These collectors visit ten spots every day and study the type of mosquitoes found there, especially of the ‘anopheles stephensi’ variety, which is the major carrier of malaria in the country. Anti-larvae measures are focused on areas where this is found.
Data available with the civic body's insecticide department for this month states that the maximum number of breeding sites — 167 — have been detected in the western suburbs from Bandra to Santacruz. In June and July it was 205 and 346.
The highest number of breeding sites in June was in Kurla ward - 224 sites. In July, Bandra to Santacruz topped the list with 346 breeding spots.
Till date, this month, the civic body has collected over 30,000 blood samples, of which 4,794 patients are admitted to civic hospitals and 41 people have died of malaria in the last 26 days.
Even if breeding spots have reduced, that doesn't mean the number of malaria patients is reducing.
If a mosquito bites a human who has malaria, that person becomes a carrier of malaria and if that mosquito bites another person there is a possibility of him getting infected, another official said.
“In order to completely kill the parasite in the human body, one must complete a course of medicine and also go in for radical treatment to make sure there is no relapse,” Dr Arun Bamne, chief insecticide officer, said.