Published: 19th September 2019
Kochi Unclean: Water Authority staff, Maharaja’s students down with dengue
According to teachers at the college, students living in the ladies’ hostel and some from various departments were afflicted with dengue
It seems the cleanliness drives being conducted by the Kochi corporation in the city are not yielding results. Recently, 12 employees of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and six students of Maharaja’s College were down with dengue, which is spread by Aedes mosquitoes that breed in freshwater.
According to teachers at the college, students living in the ladies’ hostel and some from various departments were afflicted with dengue. “We came to know that as many as 12 employees of KWA too were confirmed as suffering from dengue,” they said. The college and the surrounding areas are perfect breeding spots for this type of mosquitoes, they added.
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. According to District Medical Officer Dr M K Kuttappan, as of now, there has been no increase in the number of dengue cases. “Nothing of the sort that can trigger a panic situation. 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,” he said.
The recent cases might be the result of the presence of clean stagnant water on the premises of not only KWA but also the college, said Jayakrishnan P, junior health inspector. “Following the discovery of the dengue cases, we did a thorough investigation and found the source,” he said. According to him, rainwater had collected in a broken plastic bucket that was thrown on the terrace of the KWA building.
“The intermittent rain came in as a boon for the vector. However, we destroyed the source and carried out fogging activities not only at the building but also on the college premises. The situation is under control,” said Jayakrishnan. The health department also conducted awareness classes at the college, he added.
According to him, the college which has a huge student strength also needs to tackle the waste disposal problem. “Plastic cups and carry bags lying strewn on the campus act as collection vessels for rainwater,” he said.