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Amritsar

Posted at: May 19, 2017, 1:27 AM; last updated: May 19, 2017, 1:27 AM (IST)

Gambusia fish to help check dengue, malaria

Gambusia fish to help check dengue, malaria
Health officials release the fish seed in a water pond in Amritsar. A Tribune photo

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 18

The district Health Department is all set to take the help of gambusia fish to check dengue and malaria by introducing the same in ponds in rural areas. A record number of over 1,500 dengue patients were reported in te district in the previous year. The disease had caused at least three deaths.

Officials of the department today released the fish seed in a water pond at Vallah village near here. The species, popularly known as mosquito fish, is used in many countries as a bio-control measure to check mosquito-transmitted diseases.

After releasing it in the Vallah pond today, District Epidemiologist Madan Mohan and Dr Ritu said Gambusia fish was being introduced in around 100 water ponds in the district.

“The fish, which largely feeds on mosquito larvae, will help check mosquito breeding, which causes dengue and malaria,” said Dr Madan.

He said the department was taking every possible step to check the spread of the disease. The officials said dengue and malaria could be easily prevented by taking ample precautions.

“Even residents are encouraged to not let water stagnate around their houses. Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which spreads dengue, breeds in fresh water. Often water coolers and water kept in bowls for birds become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In such circumstances, water should be changed within a few days,” said the epidemiologist.

The department had last year procured around 200 gambusia fish from the hatchery of Government Medical College, Faridkot. Later, these were kept at the breeding centre set up for the purpose at the Family Panning Centre, Verka. The officials said as it was the mating season of species, a small quantity introduced in water ponds would be sufficient.

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