Kerala Water Authority Staff, College Students Down with Dengue in Kochi
It seems that the cleanliness drives being conducted by the Kochi corporation in the city are not yielding results as recently 12 employees of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and six students of Maharaja’s College were down with the mosquito-borne diseases dengue. Dengue is spread by Aedes mosquitoes that breed in freshwater. Teachers at the college said students living in the ladies’ hostel and some from various departments were afflicted with dengue adding that they came to know that as many as 12 employees of KWA too were confirmed as suffering from dengue, reported Indian Express. The report added that the teachers claimed that the college and the surrounding areas are perfect breeding spots for this type of mosquitoes. According to the report, the shrubs and bushes in the gardens planted by the Botany Department and the fountains and artificial ponds act as reservoirs of rainwater-bred Aedes mosquitoes. Speaking to Indian Express, District Medical Officer Dr M K Kuttappan, said there has been no increase in the number of dengue cases adding that nothing of the sort that can trigger a panic situation has happened. He added that since the mosquitoes that carry the pathogen causing dengue breed in clean water, chances of an outbreak is high only if there is intermittent rain. Jayakrishnan further added that while intermittent rain came as a boon for the vector, they have destroyed the source and carried out fogging activities in the building and college premises. According to him, the college which has huge student strength also needs to tackle the waste disposal problem. He referred to plastic cups and carry bags lying strewn on the campus that act as collection vessels for rainwater, which in turn lead to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya and malaria.