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Dudhia dengue: Naxalbari on alert

Twenty-nine cases of dengue have been found at Dudhia near Siliguri this month, something that health officials said was unprecedented

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

In the wake of a dengue outbreak at Dudhia, located on the foothills of Kurseong, the administration has alerted the adjoining Naxalbari Block and has asked officials there to taking preventive measures.

Twenty-nine cases of dengue have been found at Dudhia near Siliguri this month, something that health officials said was unprecedented. There was, however, no report of any fresh case coming up today. Some dengue cases have been recently detected in rural areas under the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) also.

According to the Additional Executive Officer of the SMP, Prem Kumar Bardewa, an anti-dengue drive was underway in full swing. The administration has asked government construction agencies not to let water accumulate at construction sites.

“The administration has alerted the Naxalbari Block, following a surge in dengue cases in bordering Dudhia. Earlier, some dengue cases were detected in rural areas. The anti-dengue drive has been stepped up,” an administrative official said today.

According to the Darjeeling district chief medical officer of health, Dr Pralay Acharya, all necessary steps were being taken to combat the virus and to stop the breeding of the vector population. Dr Acharya said guppy fish, which are known to feed on mosquito larvae and microbes will be released in water bodies in the district. Village survey teams (VST) are conducting house-to-house visits with messages of awareness among the people in the SMP area, while vector control teams (VCT) have been engaged in spraying and removal of stagnant water.

There are 22-gram panchayats (GP) in four blocks– Matigara, Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa-in the Siliguri sub-division. Mr Bardewa said people should be aware that water stagnation could lead to the breeding of mosquitoes.

“Awareness campaigns are ongoing. We have laid emphasis on preventive steps. People should remove stagnant water if found,” he said. In rural areas, the hollow remnants of felled bamboo trees are being filled with sand so as to avoid water accumulation. Such bamboo stags are considered breeding spots for mosquitoes, according to the health department officially associated with the vector-borne disease control programme.

“The clean water even in small containers can turn into breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Bamboos usually have cavities on the top and water accumulates inside them during rainfall and the mosquito chooses them as a good spot to breed,” an official said.