Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Pune haunts by chikungunya this year too


PUNE: Accounting for 90 chikungunya cases till May this year, Pune continues to be the hotbed of mosquito-borne disease in the state. Pune, including the areas under Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations, and fringe villages, reported as many as 90 chikungunya cases against the state's total of 111 between January and May-end this year. This accounts for 81% of the state's disease burden, the latest report of the state health department has revealed.

"With the monsoon upon us, the cases are likely to rise as rainwater accumulated in discarded containers, coconut shells and scraps provide fitting ground for Aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector for dengue and chikungunya, to breed and propagate," experts said. In 2016, Pune had earned the dubious distinction of recording about 92% of the state's chikungunya cases and ranked second in terms of dengue incidences in Maharashtra.

The comparative analysis, however, shows that the cases have dropped this year (January to May) as against 2016. "There were 192 cases recorded between January and May last year. The number has come down to 111 during the corresponding period this year," the report stated.

M S Diggikar, joint director (vector-borne) diseases, said, the areas under the Pune Municipal Corporation have remained to be worst hit, accounting for 77% of the total cases in the state. The rest of the cases have been reported from the limits of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and rural parts of the state. Among the rural areas, Kolhapur district recorded nine cases, followed by Ahmednagar (4), Satara (4), Pune (1) and Sindhudurg (1).

Last year, the PMC woke up to initiate control measures against the mosquito-borne diseases from mid-August. "Till then, their surveillance and control measures were inadequate. One of the reasons was staff crunch in the insect control department. The posts were filled up on contract only in August," activist Sanjay Dabhade said.

Kalpana Baliwant, head of the insect control department of PMC, said, "This year, we initiated all the preventive measures quite early. We filled up the posts of multi-purpose workers on contractual basis. So, we have the field staff ready with us." Besides, the civic health officials started house-to-house survey right at the beginning of June. "We have covered a total 9,000 households as a part of the house-to-house survey so far," Baliwant said.

PMC health officials have also issued noticed to 245 private properties, which were found facilitating the breeding of mosquitoes on their premises. "These properties had discarded containers in the open, facilitating breeding of mosquitoes," she said.


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