The rainy season is upon us, incessant rain is flooding the streets and alleys. If not for the ongoing strict lockdown for Covid-19, it would have made the lives of commuters totally miserable. A more worrisome matter is that the season for mosquito breeding has started too. Though all mosquitoes are more or less harmful nuisances, the Aedes is the worst of the lot. Dengue fever is spread by infected Aedes mosquitoes biting healthy individuals and making them sick. The Aedes mosquito breeds in rainwater which invariably collects during this season in basements, under-construction buildings, gardens and in old tyres, used coconut shells, etc. lying in the outdoors due to our negligence.
Controlling Aedes mosquitoes in city neighbourhoods can be a simple matter of self-discipline practised by the city dwellers. Incorporating some ordinary cleanliness measures can greatly reduce regeneration of the Aedes larvae in our neighbourhoods. Old tyres, pots, containers, etc., anything that can gather rainwater must be disposed properly, so as not to litter parks, roadsides, marketplaces or any outdoor areas. Particular care must be taken to ensure used coconut shells do not lie around in open spaces collecting rainwater to become breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito larvae.Taking early precautions by clearing the city areas of junks and debris can not only save us from dengue fever but many other illnesses which normally accompany this season. Besides we all know that cleanliness is next to Godliness, therefore, it must be taught in schools to become second nature to all.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services the number of dengue patients is rising in hospitals. Before dengue fever spreads more widely, city authorities must frequently carry out cleanliness drives, particularly in the areas where the dengue patients are living or frequenting. For long term effects, city corporation authorities should educate the city dwellers about the Aedes – how to detect and control - rather than impose fines on the long-suffering people who are already reeling under the economic crunch due to Covid-19 and its allied health hazards.
Informed citizens and youths can be motivated to join city authorities in the Aedes control operation and cleanliness drives. In addition to keeping the surroundings clean, the need for spraying an effective pesticide in the morning and afternoon to destroy both larvae and adult mosquitoes cannot be overlooked.