Dengue, commonly called break bone fever, is an infectious disease with symptoms of severe pain in joints, skin rash, headaches and fever. If the disease develops into dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever, the condition could prove fatal to the patient. While most of the infectious diseases have been controlled, dengue is on rise since 1960’s. Dengue fever is transmitted by the species of mosquito Aedes, who often feed during early morning hours or early in the evening. Given that the vaccine for the terrible malady has not been developed yet, the best option left is to avoid it with right measures. Here is the list of 6 effective tips to avoid Dengue fever infection through mosquito bites.
6. Eliminate Mosquito Habitat:
Larvae of the mosquitoes are aquatic; hence they need water to survive. Aedes mosquitoes live around residential areas in places where water remains standing in decorative earthenware, flower pots, drums, or in thrown trash like, old cans, broken pots, old automobile parts etc. We can control the breeding of mosquitoes by eliminating their habitats which facilitate their growth. Clean the clogged drains which are preferred by mosquitoes for laying their larvae. Stirring the stagnant water occasionally will destroy the larvae; moreover we can add insecticides or get rid of stagnant water to control mosquito population.
5. Biological Control:
Mosquitoes can also be kept at bay by the biological control method as an alternative option which does not pose health hazards like insect repellents or insecticides. Introducing crustaceans and fishes that prey on mosquito’s larvae into the decorative ponds, pools or other such water bodies around the home will prevent breeding of mosquitoes. Some natural enemies of the mosquitoes like the dragon fly, turtles, beetle larvae should be encouraged to breed in the environment as they are effective hunters of Aedes aegypti. Scientists are testing the new field of genetics to create genetically modified mosquitoes which may prevent dengue in future.
4. Plan Your Outdoor Activities:
If you plan to be outdoor between two to three hours after sunrise or in the evening before sunset; than you should take precautions to prevent Aedes mosquito bites, as this is their feeding time. They often bite during the daytime when the weather is overcast. Unless it is utterly important, avoid being in places which are infested with mosquitoes. Be vigilant in places where dengue fever has become endemic, or where a fresh outbreak has occurred.
3. Use Mosquito Repellent:
If you are outside during the peak biting hours of mosquitoes, that is dawn, dusk or early evening, then make sure you have insect repellent rubbed over the exposed body parts. If you are using sunscreen, apply mosquito repellent over it. Permethrin is a great mosquito repellent, but unfortunately it cannot be used directly on skin. It is safe to spray your clothes, shoes, net, curtains, or outdoor gears with Permethrin to keep the pests away. DEET and Picaridin are the EPA registered effective mosquito repellents that can prevent dengue fever, though they have some side-effects. Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil, Catnip, garlic, citronella, neem, black pepper and lavender are some great natural mosquito repellents which are good for your health. Growing lotus in ponds keeps mosquitoes away as they are not just great mosquito repellents but also kill the larvae.
2. Dress Smartly:
Cover yourself as much as possible to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The crafty mosquitoes can penetrate body hugging clothes, therefore, it is wise to wear loose long sleeved dresses that do not allow the proboscis, a needle like straw through which mosquitoes draw blood, to probe inside the flesh. Though many people do not prefer thick or tightly woven fabrics, they are the best bet against insect bites. Avoid dark colors, as mosquitoes seem to be attracted to them, moreover you cannot spot mosquitoes on dark colors. Pay special attention to your shoes, as mosquitoes often hover just above the ground.
1. Keep Your House Safe from Mosquito Invasion:
Mosquitoes love to feed on human blood when they are sleeping, as the still bodies allow them to suck the blood at their own comfortable pace. Keeping your home safe from mosquitoes, especially during night is very important to prevent the spread of dengue fever. Air conditioned homes are safe, since mosquitoes do not prefer cool environment, but not everyone can afford it. Keeping the doors and windows screened, or sleeping under the mosquito net provides enough protection too. Use safe insect repellents that keep the house pest free.