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Is there a way to control mosquito-borne diseases?
According to a report released by the Ministry of Health, there has been a big increase in dengue affected cases in 2012. Official figures put loss of lives due to dengue at 216 while about 35,000 people have got affected with the disease.

TAMIL NADU recorded the highest number of loss of life with 60 deaths followed by Maharashtra (59), Karnataka (21), Punjab (15), Kerala (13) and West Bengal (9). In the number of confirmed cases, Tamil Nadu leads the pack with 9, 249 cases only next to West Bengal with 6067 cases.

Mosquitoes play major role in spreading life threatening diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya, among others. There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the world. Nectar from plants is the primary food for both male and female mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes must feed on blood in order to produce fertile eggs. In fact, a female mosquito requires one "blood meal" for every batch of eggs she lays. Mosquitoes are attracted to light, warmth, perspiration, body odour and carbon dioxide.

Due to mosquito bites, estimates of cases and deaths differ greatly: the number of cases stands between 200 million and 500 million while the death estimate is around 1 million per year. On the other hand, dengue has become the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. It is estimated to cause over 50 million infections and around 15,000 deaths every year across approximately 100 countries.

The issue of controlling mosquitoes has been a hotly debated one in many platforms, both in India and abroad. For a developing economy like India, this issue needs to be controlled as soon as possible. Some measures suggested are as follows.

- During a recent visit to different states, Tamil Nadu seems to be having huge number of mosquitoes moving freely. Mosquitoes breed on water logged for sometime. Therefore, all efforts should be made to do away with water logging. It would also do the state more good if all open flow sewage canals are covered by proper cemented structure pavement blocks to prevent mosquitoes from breeding on a large scale. Moreover, such a move will also help in giving the state a better look because open flowing sewage canals do present a sour look and undoubtedly they are the biggest breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Central government can also debate on this issue and may wish to come out with mandating laws to cover all the open flowing sewage canals, with proper lasting covers. Such a move will grossly check the breeding and flow of mosquitoes on a big scale.

- Due to mosquitoe menace, people residing in houses including luxury homes, have to keep their windows and other ventilators closed most of the times, resulting in more suffocation inside the house. This may affect the health of people, especially children and older ones, who cannot move out of the house frequently. Companies like Godrej & Boyce have come out with some solutions on this issue but everyone cannot afford to have their products at all times. It has been rightly suggested by some officials of Health Ministry that in mosquito prone areas, it is advisable to wear long sleeve shirts and full pants. These can be added with socks in the legs and gloves in hands to prevent mosquito bite during sleeping time or resting time.

- Special drives should be conducted periodically to ensure that water logging of any nature is discarded in homes, streets and roads, etc. in mosquito prone areas.

- More research is needed to find out ways and means for controlling mosquitoes on a large scale and also helping people to overcome this issue with proper remedies.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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