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War on mosquitoes launched in Delhi

The civic authorities launch the drive to prevent the spread of the dengue virus after it claims 10th victim in the capital.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 17:28 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Authorities have launched a virtual war on mosquitoes in New Delhi to prevent the spread of the dengue virus after it killed 10 people, including an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) student.

The civic authorities have stepped up sanitation drives across the city, especially in hospitals, community centres and public places, in a bid to kill the mosquitoes.

"We have also started random checks of homes, offices and places where there could be stagnant water breeding mosquitoes. We are spraying anti-mosquito drugs," said NK Yadav, the city's deputy municipal health officer.

The Delhi government has formed a special task force to help the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in the drive against stagnant water and to educate people on preventive measures against the disease.

"The death of the medical student is really a subject of concern," he said.

Hospitals have been told to maintain cleanliness on the campuses.

Kamal Raj Kiran, a seventh semester student of AIIMS, died of dengue on Saturday. He had tested positive for dengue on Thursday, and was operated upon Friday to stem brain haemorrhage.

But the student from Hyderabad succumbed to the disease. More than 20 people at the hospital, including 14 students and some resident doctors, are afflicted with the disease.

Dengue virus is spread by the bite of the female Aedes mosquito, primarily Aedes Aegypti, that breeds in clean stagnant water.

The national capital has this year recorded over 400 cases of dengue—more than double the number in 2005. Of this 127 came to light last week.

Among the 10 people to have died are Kiran and the 17-year-old daughter of a Delhi doctor.

The disease could spread further in the next two months because the present weather helps the Aedes mosquito breed.

Over 1,300 health workers have fanned out to inspect residences and advise people not to allow water to stagnate.

"Since October and November are the most dangerous months for the breeding of mosquitoes, we have appealed to citizens to be on an alert," said Yadav.

"This is a difficult situation and we need the co-operation of citizens. The administration cannot control the spread of the disease by itself," he added.

In order to create awareness, MCD has urged school authorities to educate people about the disease and preventive measures.

The civic authority has sent legal notices to over 29,000 households and fined nearly 13,000 of them.

First Published: Oct 01, 2006 13:40 IST