TN Health dept brings dengue awareness ahead of rains

Chennai: To prevent spread of communicable diseases especially during the upcoming rainy season, Tamilnadu Health and Family Welfare Department has joined hands with the civic body and has issued notices to 6,250 establishments both commercial and residential for not curbing water/sewage stagnation which leads to the growth of mosquitoes.

Not only that, the department has also slashed collective fine of Rs 6.62 lakh of which Rs 1.66 lakh has been already collected from the offenders.

With just less than two months left to witness the northeast monsoon rains, government is all set to make sure that 2017’s scenario, where Tamilnadu topped the country in the number of dengue deaths, doesn’t get repeated this time too.

As of matter of fact, 22,000 people in the State were affected by dengue last year with 65 deaths reported. Northeast monsoon rains are usually vigorous in Chennai. With Kerala facing floods this time, a similar situation is anticipated in Chennai too in November and December.

With water/sewage stagnation prevelant in Chennai, they are most likely to get worse during the upcoming showers paving way for the growth of mosquitoes causing diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, swine flu, etc.

But officials are confident this time as one of them said,”We have issued notices to buildings with the collection of fine starting side -by-side. We believe this initiative will bring down stagnation levels. Government is sure that dengue will be curbed to a great extent this year.”

HOW TO BE SAFE?

Stay away from heavily populated residential areas, if possible.

Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.

When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers tucked into socks.

When indoors, use air conditioning if available.

Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets.

If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.

HOW THE DISEASE SPREADS

Dengue is spread through the bite of the female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The mosquito becomes infected when it takes the blood of a person infected with the virus. After about one week, the mosquito can then transmit the virus while biting a healthy person. The mosquito can fly up to 400 meters looking for water-filled containers to lay their eggs but usually remains close to the human habitation.

S Ben Raja