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Vector-borne diseases see a reduction this year

But taking no chances, BBMP steps up awareness drives following heavy rains

Unusually heavy rains in November has prompted the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to step up its efforts to check the spread of vector-borne diseases. However, so far, Bengaluru has reported fewer cases of dengue and chikungunya this year compared to 2020, said BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) K.V. Trilokchandra.

From January to December 2020, the city recorded 1,912 cases of dengue and 139 cases of chikungunya. This year (from January to November 19), there have been 1,119 cases of dengue and 55 of chikungunya cases.

Nevertheless, the BBMP is not taking any chances. On Friday, a meeting was held to discuss the various measures that have been taken to check the spread of the diseases. Ravikumar from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme instructed the civic officials to focus on source reduction.

Most dengue and chikungunya cases are reported in the monsoon months, when the rains cause fresh water to stagnate. These vector-borne diseases are commonly transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that are known to breed in freshwater.

Door-to-door survey

Civic officials said that apart from regular ICE (information, communication and education) awareness drives, the BBMP has also taken up a door-to-door survey. During the survey, the health workers will check if anyone has symptoms of either chikungunya or dengue.

Mr. Trilokchandra told The Hindu that priority is being given to source-reduction measures. “Since the mosquitoes transmitting the virus breed in freshwater, civic officials are ensuring that there are no water receptacles lying in the open. Citizens must also keep their surroundings clean to ensure there are no breeding sites for these mosquitoes,” he said and added that regular spraying is also taken up.

Civic officials said that given the slew of measures in place to check the spread, they do not expect the number of cases of dengue and chikungunya to increase.

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