ZSI to set up task force to tackle dengue in West Bengal

Kolkata: The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is set to constitute a task force to chalk out an action plan for prevention of dengue in West Bengal, its director Kailash Chandra has said. The organisation has already initiated a surveillance programme to find out the reason behind the rising number of dengue cases in the state, the ZSI director said.

“The project is in the planning stages. The task force, once constituted, will conduct a study before drafting an action plan to tackle dengue. The findings, recommendations and the action plan will be submitted to the state government, which will then take a call on its execution,” he explained.

Chandra said the decision was taken after West Bengal Biodiversity Board chairman AK Sanyal requested him to carry out an in-depth study on the vector-borne disease. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, generally small in size with white markings on legs and lyre-like signs on the thorax, are responsible for spreading dengue and chikungunya.

Incidentally, the ZSI, along with another company, has recently launched ‘Herbomosqucide’ – a plant-based mosquito larvicide, the ZSI director said. “The product is made from extracts of eucalyptus and pine trees. It not just restrains the larval growth of Aedes aegypt mosquitoes, but also kills it,” Chandra added. According to sources in the health department, over 25 people in the state have succumbed to dengue since January and more than 40,000 have been affected by the disease.