Dengue and Chikungunya have become important outbreak prone vector-borne diseases in the country. Outbreaks result in loss of working man-hours, long period disability in patients after initial recovery from diseases like Chikungunya, mortality in patients suffering from dengue hemorrhagic fever, which directly affect the economy of the society.
The mosquitoes transmitting these viral diseases are found breeding in domestic/peri-domestic containers including desert coolers.
The conventional desert coolers are being used in many parts of the country as cooling devices in houses, offices and industrial establishments during the summer months.
The conventional desert coolers hold water for long period and they have become the potential breeding grounds for dangerous mosquitoes in absence of adequate control efforts.
A study carried out in Delhi area revealed that more than 50% of the breeding places of dengue vectors are contributed by these conventional coolers because of the following reasons:
- The water tank of the conventional coolers is open type, which attracts mosquitoes for egg laying, which results in prolific breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and transmit dengue/Chikungunya viruses.
- Weekly larviciding or cleaning is required to prevent breeding of mosquitoes inside the cooler, which is often not practiced.
- Standing water in the cooler, when not in use, particularly during monsoon season, has high potential for the breeding of dengue vector mosquito and thus increases the risk of disease transmission.