New Delhi eyes frogs to stop mosquitos

June 22, 2007

New Delhi officials are considering the import of thousands of mosquito-eating frogs to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever.

Severe water pollution has decimated the city's once thriving frog population that fed on mosquito larvae, curbing the spread of dengue, malaria and encephalitis, The Times of London said.

Pesticides, raw sewage and industrial effluents have killed most of the frogs and environmentalists say the government needs to clean up the lakes, ponds, rivers and canals before paying farmers in neighboring states to bring more frogs into the capital. A study by the National Institute of Malaria Research concluded New Delhi's mosquito population has grown 45 percent in the past year.

Doctors say this year's dengue outbreak could be even worse than last year, when more than 3,000 people were infected and at least 60 died, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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