- Monsoon showers bring happiness and a sense of relief from the scorching heat of the summer. They bring joy to the children and youngsters who love getting drenched. However, along with the sense of ecstasy, they also bring along puddles and nasty mosquitoes that breed on these puddles. The harmful diseases caused by mosquitoes make monsoon the busiest season for clinics and hospitals across the country.
- No matter what we do, the battle against mosquitoes gets tougher with every passing year as conventional management methods are turning out to be increasingly ineffective. About 725,000 people die every year due to life-threatening diseases caused by mosquito bites. Thus, it is wise to take precautionary measures and enjoy the monsoon with some tea and fritters, rather than with fever and chills from dengue, malaria or chikungunya.
Is there a vaccine to prevent these diseases?
- This deadly trio of diseases is most commonly witnessed during the monsoon. No vaccines are available for chikungunya and malaria.Although avaccine for dengue is available, it is available only in certain countries and for individuals aged 9-45 years. The World Health Organization recommends the use of dengue vaccine only in those who have had a dengue infection in the past. It is not safe to use it in individuals with no history of dengue, as such individuals may develop severe dengue if vaccinated. Dengue vaccine is not available in India yet.
So what do we do? The only way is to fall back on traditional preventive measures and be cautious!
Head towards a disease-free monsoon
The following tips can help you halt the spread of mosquitoes and prevent mosquito-borne diseases:
- Reduce, reuse and recycle:Excess waste production leads to improper disposal and garbage accumulation, leading to a rise in breeding hotspots for mosquitoes. By reducing waste production using the three “R’s” of waste management, we can reduce potential breeding grounds for these nasty stingers. In addition to dengue, malaria and chikungunya, this will help prevent many other diseases caused by mosquitoes.
- Cover water containers:Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Many households in the country do not have pipelines for water. They store water in open utensils, which allows mosquitoes to use these containers as breeding grounds. You should ensure that water-filled utensils are covered with a tight lid to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Clear stagnant water sources:Puddles, swamps, sluggishly moving water streams and any other stagnant water sources promote the breeding of mosquitoes and their larvae. Clearing these sources by digging a canal and removing the weeds on these water bodies can help prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
- Targeted use of larvicides and insect repellents:Larvicides and insect repellents can help kill the larvae and mosquitoes infected with virus. Larvicides are the chemicals used to kill the larvae of mosquitoes that stagnant water harbours. Insect repellents are used to kill the developed adult mosquitoes. Eliminating breeding grounds right at the source is better than worrying about treating the sick later!
- Scrub water containers:Even if you keep your water storage containers covered, you should scrub and clean them regularly to remove any eggs laid by the mosquitoes. This will help halt the mosquito problem in the very initial stages.
- Sleep under a bednet:Many methods to prevent or keep away mosquitoes are known; however, it is next to impossible to prevent them from entering our houses. Just one mosquito is enough to infect an entire family. Therefore, sleeping under a bednet can help you prevent mosquito bites. It will also prevent interference in your dreams as you get rid of the nasty buzzing of the mosquitoes.
- Keep yourself covered:Another way to prevent mosquito bites is by wearing full-sleeved clothes. This is primarily useful in areas with a high risk of mosquito-borne diseases, i.e., endemic to such diseases. Full-length bottom wear too is helpful in preventing mosquito bites.
- If you reside in a high-risk area, you can consult a healthcare expert at HealthAssure. If you or your family member is experiencing fever and you suspect malaria, dengue, chikungunya or any other disease caused by mosquito bites, you can consult an experienced medical professional from our team. Because health can’t wait!
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