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Malaria-free Mysuru district awaits official announcement

By M.B. Pavan Murthy

Mysore/Mysuru: Malaria was once a life-threatening fever that has become a passé in Mysuru district in the year 2017 itself.  Since then no case of Malaria has been reported in the district making it ‘Malaria-free’ but awaits official announcement in this regard.

A six-member team of experts of Independent Assessment Committee, including those of the State and Centre, are expected to evaluate the eligibility for official announcement, during their tentative visit to the district from May 23 to 25. They will take stock of the prevailing conditions and submit a report.

The Committee will study whether the measures taken to bring down Malaria cases to zero are in compliance with the parameters of the Government? Whether the blood samples are collected and tests are conducted in an adequate manner? Several such parameters will be studied and the evaluation report will be submitted to the Centre which is authorised to make announcement of Malaria-free district.

District Vector-Borne Diseases Control Officer Dr. S. Chidambara told Star of Mysore, “The evaluation to declared Malaria-free District should have been carried out in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic situation. Now, the time permits for evaluation. But the challenge remains over keeping the district Malaria-free, as the chances of recurrence cannot be ignored.”

The target is to make the State Malaria-free by the year 2025. If no cases (of Malaria) are reported for consecutive three years, such districts will be declared Malaria-free on the basis of relevant conditions. For the last five to six years, no deaths caused due to Malaria are reported in any of the  districts in the State including Mysuru.

Malaria is caused due to parasites born out of Plasmodium Vivax and Plasmodium Falciparum, which are commonly found in humans. Along with them, Plasmodium Ovale and Plasmodium Malariae are also found. Of the total 70 types of Malaria, only these four are commonly found among the humans. Plasmodium Vivax and Plasmodium Falciparum are most reported in India, explained Dr. Chidambara.

Picture shows District Vector-Borne Diseases Control Officer Dr. S. Chidambara releasing fishlings to a pond at Siddarthanagar in the city.

Falciparum is fatal

Plasmodium Vivax infects 90 percent to 95 percent of people, while Plasmodium Falciparum infects five percent to 10 percent of people. Vivax is not fatal, when compared to Falciparum which is fatal, with symptoms of brain fever and  also affects kidney and liver. Hence in this case, timely treatment is vital. Vviax though doesn’t cause damages to that extent, destroys Red Blood Cells (RBC) and leads to anaemia. 

The chances of people irrespective of children, men and women getting infected by Malaria cannot be ruled out. Even though no cases of Malaria are reported in the district, we have been still collecting blood samples and conducting tests. In the case of Malaria, the person suffers from high fever and end up at hospital unable to bear the fever.  Hence it is easy to identify and treat the same. Free treatment is provided both at the Government Hospitals and Health Centres.  Be it any fever, Malaria test is conducted and is even conducted at the door step of the people, added Dr. Chidambara.

Mysuru District Statistics

No cases of Malaria are reported in Mysuru district from 2017 to ongoing year. In the year 2012, there were 72 cases, followed by 63 in 2013, 54 in 2014, 34 in 2015, 43 in 2016, but no deaths were reported during the period.

Anti-Malaria Month in June

To create awareness among the people, Anti-Malaria Month is observed every year in the month of June. The month of June is preceding month of onset of rainy season and hence various awareness programmes will be organised from Primary Health Centre to District-level, including door-to-door visit and jathas.

Symptoms of Malaria

Along with fever, the person having Malaria will be complaining of cold weather, shivering and sweating. Female Anopheles Mosquito is the main cause for Malaria and hence the water tanks and drums in the  premises of the houses should be closed. Besides, mosquito net and anti-mosquito control should be used to avoid getting bitten by the mosquito.

Female Anopheles Mosquito

Malaria is caused due to the bite of female Anopheles Mosquito. They are more seen during rainy season and will be flying in a circular manner like a wheel  over the head soon after dusk. If you try to catch hold of these mosquitoes in the fist, you will get a handful of them. The eggs of these mosquitoes can be seen in potholes with water. They travel up to three km and their rate of reproduction is more in rainy season, says Dr. S. Chidambara. As rainwater accumulates in potholes and low-lying areas in rainy season, the chances of these mosquitoes breeding are more. If the water accumulates for 14 days, two batches of larvae will grow. During other seasons, the mosquitoes are seen in lake or pond water.

The post Malaria-free Mysuru district awaits official announcement appeared first on Star of Mysore.

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