FIROZABAD: Battling a deadly outbreak of dengue and viral fever that has claimed 51 lives so far, the Firozabad district administration is releasing about 25,000 mosquitofish that eat larvae of dengue-breeding mosquitoes in ponds to check the spread of the disease, a senior district official said on Monday.

District health officials have started releasing the fish, generically known as Gambusia, in ponds in urban as well as rural areas of the district, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dinesh Kumar Premi told PTI.

He said 50 packets of fish seeds have been acquired from Badaun to start with.

Premi said the district administration is going with the experiment having seen its success earlier in Bareilly and Baduan districts.

The CMO said that a Gambusia fish eats about 100 larvae daily.

The measure will also be effective against malaria, he added.

Dengue and viral fever have claimed 51 lives in over a fortnight in the district in Uttar Pradesh.

Hundreds of people are also undergoing treatment for the diseases.

District Magistrate Chandra Vijay Singh had recently directed health and municipal corporation officials to conduct a door-to-door survey to drain out stagnant water from coolers, pots and other utensils.