The number of mosquito breeding sites in the city has risen multi-fold, from 304 to 3,872 sites, in the period between January and August, this year, shows the latest report prepared by the civic insecticide department.
In the past eight months, the maximum breeding sites of Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the known carrier for the dengue virus, was found in Andheri East area (K east) where the civic officials detected 884 breeding spots. Andheri is also the region from where several dengue cases have been reported.
Andheri was followed by Elphinstone (G South ward) with 797 sites and Byculla (E ward) where 789 sites were found.
According to general physician Dr Sidharth Lalitkumar in Andheri, this year, apart from leptospirosis, he has noticed a significant jump in dengue admissions. “We are seeing fewer cases of malaria, but dengue is rising. Patients come with symptoms like body ache and weakness. In most cases, the disease can be treated at home,” he said.
In August alone, the civic health department has noted 106 confirmed dengue cases across government hospitals. In the same period, 53 leptospirosis and 1,010 malaria cases have been recorded.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data also points to a worrisome trend of continued detection of breeding sites in drums across the city. Of all the possible places where the Aedes mosquito breeds, such as flower pots, unused tyres, refrigerator plates, tarpauline sheets, the drums to hold water contributed to 46 per cent of total breeding sites. Since January till August this year, civic officials have found a total of 8,946 breeding sites, of which 4,121 were found in drums kept outside houses.
“We have also noticed more breeding in non-slum areas, mostly residences and societies. Unlike malaria, dengue mosquito breeds indoors in fresh water,” said insecticide officer Dr Rajan Naringrekar. In August, the civic officials found 3,371 breeding sites in non-slum areas as opposed to slums where only 501 breeding sites were found. The data also shows need for increased awareness in privately-owned corporations or residences where the dengue incidence and breeding is increasing.
In non-slum areas, at least 113 breeding spots were found indoors in residences and offices and 3,258 were found outdoors, in places such as tanks, drums, and tarpaulin sheets. From January to August, mosquito breeding on tarpaulin sheets was found in 718 places. These sheets are used not only by slum-dwellers but even by street-side hawkers to cover their establishments.