CALCUTTA, India – Government health officials weren’t just blowing smoke Saturday, but were fumigating residential areas of Calcutta in eastern India to guard against the spread of malaria and dengue fever, an epa journalist reported.
More than 1,500 officials went across the city in teams and carried large metal fogger devices that burn off a liquid chemical and release smoke that kills the larvae of malaria and dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
The southern and eastern parts of the city are reportedly the most vulnerable to outbreaks of the diseases.
The fumigation campaign comes as dengue and malaria cases have increased in the city over the last week, with four people – two children and two adults – dying of dengue fever since July 30, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Three of the deaths were caused by a rarely seen strain of dengue that experts say has a 50-60 percent mortality rate, and which triggers a quick death through hyper-activity of the immune system.
According to the World Health Organization online fact sheet on dengue fever in India, the capital of Delhi recorded 15,000 cases of the sickness in 2015, its worst since 2006.