In an effort to tackle vector-borne diseases during monsoon, the district health department has released Gambusia fish, which feed on larvae of mosquitoes, into 72 water bodies in Gurgaon. The district has a total of 153 ponds and johads, of which 117 are permanent and 36 are areas where water fills up only during monsoon.
“During the monsoon, there is a risk of mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water bodies and of diseases related to them, such as malaria and dengue, spreading. To protect against this, we have recently introduced Gambusia fish in ponds in several villages, including Wazirabad, Ghata, Ullahwas, and Palra,” said Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Virender Yadav.
Officials said Gambusia fish can eat the larvae of at least 100 to 300 mosquitoes each day and can easily live in shallow ponds.
Apart from this, officials from the health department said that other measures have also been taken in anticipation of vector-borne diseases, including arranging for “adequate amounts” of Tamiflu, which is used in treatment of swine flu, and larvicide, which is an insecticide meant to kill mosquito larvae before they become full grown adults. Chemicals for fogging as well as black oil that can be sprayed on water bodies to prevent larvae growth have also been procured.
“Breeding checkers… will be deployed for the next three months. Around 35 breeding checkers have been sanctioned by the state,” said the CMO.
According to the health department data, 22 cases of dengue and 15 cases of malaria were reported in Gurgaon
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