Posted on Hello Wellness on Dec 20, 2010
Mosquitoes mean diseases. Chills, high fever, pain and itching, Aedes and Anopheles kill more people in India than terrorists do. Yet dengue and malaria haven't made it to our list of issues of national concern!
Were it not for the Commonwealth Games 2010 the dengue epidemic that struck Delhi this September would hardly have found a mention in international media. The media focussed on how the government's preparations for the 71-country sporting event include digging new subway routes, refurbishing or building from scratch 20 stadiums, and rebuilding roads and bridges - all creating favorable breeding conditions for mosquitoes that had passed on the virus to 1,483 people. And once the Games were over, dengue took a back-seat as India basked in Commonwealth glory.
Epidemics such as dengue and malaria strike most parts of India round the year but become more prevalent during monsoon. Prevent the breeding of mosquitoes in stagnant water and you prevent an epidemic:
- Regularly clean the damp places in the house such as basins, kitchen drains, the place where utensils are washed, bathrooms
- Change the water in flower pots at least once a week. All containers storing water should be covered with a tight lids and the water should be changed at least twice a week
- Get air conditioners and refrigerators cleaned to dispose of stagnant water
- Ensure all large water tanks, like those in buildings, have single piece cast iron, tight-fitting cover and that the overflow pipes are protected by nets to keep away mosquitoes
- Dispose off or destroy discarded tyres, coconut shells or bottles which can collect water
- To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, wear protective clothing, use an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus and/or sleep under a mosquito net
- At the onset of symptoms of dengue or malaria such as fever, chills, severe headache, joint and muscle pains, consult a doctor
- Never give Aspirin, Dispirin and Brufen tablets to a patient suspected of having dengue as these are known to increase bleeding tendency and stomach pain
- Carry anti-malarial drugs such as Malarone, Mefloquine, Doxycycline, etc if you're travelling to a high-risk area. There is no definite vaccine or treatment for dengue fever