Maharashtra is trying hard to prevent an outbreak of dengue in flood-affected Kolhapur, that had recorded a high number of cases last year. From home visits to continuous spraying of insecticides, the main focus is to destroy the tiniest of breeding spots, said health officials.Last year, Kolhapur had recorded 14 dengue deaths and 1991 cases. Of these, 497 cases were reported from rural areas and 1,494 from urban areas. This year so far, the region has recorded 665 cases and two deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease.“The main reason behind last year’s surge was intermittent rainfall. Also, the lack of proper solid waste management was a problem, which promoted breeding in odd objects lying around,” said entomologist, Dr. Mahendra Jagtap. He said the egg biology of the dengue-spreading female Aedes aegypti mosquito also makes the spread of the disease more challenging. “The eggs can remain for a year or more even without water. As soon as they come in contact with water, they take the form of larvae. This is extremely problematic,” said Dr. Jagtap. Destroying breeding spots completely is the best way to tackle the menace, he said.Teams of 20 members from Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Nanded, Latur and Mumbai have been working extensively in Kolhapur and Sangli. “Activities like house-to-house inspection, contact tracing (checking for symptoms in people around a dengue-positive patient), fogging and spraying of insecticides is being undertaken on a daily basis. Rapid response teams have been formed at ward levels and many non-profit organisations have come to help,” he said.In Sangli too, several measures have been taken to avoid outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases. Last year, Sangli had recorded 87 dengue cases. This year, the region has recorded 61 cases so far. According to Dr. Jagtap, breeding was mostly found in water stored in containers.