In the last decade, the incidence of dengue has gone significantly up in India. A combination of the right climatic conditions especially the heat, unplanned urban growth and immunological factors makes India one of dengue’s favourite hot spots.
Dengue virus cannot be spread from person-to-person; it needs a vector. The bite of Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus spreads the disease. The mosquito gets affected by the virus when it feeds on the blood of an infected person. In about a week, the mosquito transmits the virus to a healthy person. Do you know why mosquitoes love you more than the others?
As of now, there is no vaccine or cure for dengue and treatment is basically management of the symptoms. That’s why, it is always better to prevent it rather than cure it. Here are important things to keep in mind to prevent the spread of dengue.
Beware of Daytime Mosquito Bites
The Aedes mosquito is a daytime feeder. Its biting time peaks early in the morning and in the evening before sunset. If you or your family has been experiencing mosquito bites during the day, it’s time to get your house fumigated and keep your windows netted.
Close Windows and Doors
Mosquitoes gain entry into the house through open windows and doors. Avoid keeping them open for long hours during the early hours of the morning and after sunset. Fix nets on your windows if you don’t want to block the air flow into the house.
Sleep Under Bed-Nets
Apart from the dengue treat, mosquito bites during the night also robs you of your precious sleep. Sleeping under the mosquito net is an inexpensive, effective and a chemical-free method to ward off disease-causing vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs.
Don’t Let Water Accumulate
Aedes mosquitoes can fly up to 400 meters in height, looking for stagnant water sources that are close to human habitations to lay eggs in. These open, stagnant water sources become breeding ground for the vectors. Empty, scrub or throw away items that can hold stagnant water. Pay attention to indoor plants and pools of water that collect in and around them.
If there are open puddles that have collected outside your house and there is no way to cover them, pour oils such as diesel, kerosene and other kinds of crude oil on its surface. The oils spread over the water surface, which cuts off air supply to the mosquito larvae, killing them in time.
Apply Mosquito Repellent
Despite our best efforts, mosquitoes can still find a way to bite. That’s because they are attracted to the scent of the human skin. Mosquito repellents contain substances such as icaridine or diethyltoluamide that can throw off the insect’s scent trail, making us undetectable to mosquitoes.
Wear Clothes that Cover Your Limbs
Shorts and tank tops may be great for the summer, but not if you want to be an open all-you-can-eat buffet for the mosquitoes. Keep your extremities like your hands and legs covered with full-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially when you go to bed.
Dense vegetation around your house attract droves of mosquitoes, since they thrive amidst the foliage and the mulch around the plants. Treating the plants with insecticides or cutting down the vegetation around your house may help in reducing the mosquito population.
National Dengue Day is observed in the country every year on May 15th to create awareness about this deadly disease that kills over half-a-million people worldwide. Although recovery happens in two to seven days, sometimes dengue can cause organ damage, haemorrhage and even death. That’s why prevention is always our best bet in our fight against dengue.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 16, 2018 04:52 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).