New Delhi: With the incidence of dengue being at its all-time high in the Capital, the best way to reduce chances of acquiring the illness is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, like artificial containers that hold water in and around the home. Outdoors, one must clean water containers like pet and animal watering containers, flower planter dishes and cover water storage barrels.
Other precautionary measures include keeping a lookout for standing water indoors such as in vases with fresh flowers and clean at least once a week. One must remember that the adult mosquitoes like to bite inside as well as around homes, during the day and at night when the lights are on. To protect oneself, it is important to use mosquito repellent while indoors or out. When possible, people must wear long sleeve shirts and pants for additional protection. Also, they must make sure that the window and door screens are secure and without holes. Sitting in air-conditioned rooms can reduce the incidence of the disease.
For people in whose houses someone is ill with dengue, extra precautions must be taken to prevent mosquitoes from biting the patient and then going on to bite others in the household. The dengue patients must sleep under a mosquito bed net to avoid spreading the illness. All hospitals must also provide mosquito nets to patients suffering from dengue.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, President HCFI & Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “What most people do not realize is that the dengue mosquito breeds in fresh clean water as opposed to dirty drains. Thus, people living in clean urban surroundings are more at risk of acquiring the disease. Prevention is always better than cure. In case of being diagnosed with dengue, people must not panic, consume ample amounts of fluids since the dangers of dengue lie in dehydration and must only get a platelet transfusion if their platelet counts are below 10,000 and there is active bleeding. Unnecessary transfusion can cause more harm than good.”
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. The symptoms include severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rashes. Because dengue fever is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is directed toward relief of the symptoms. The acute phase of the illness with fever and myalgias lasts about one to two weeks.
Tips to prevent mosquito bites
Using the right insect repellent and other preventive actions can discourage mosquitoes. Here are some places where mosquito breeding must be eliminated:
Remove Mosquito Habitats
· Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
· Empty and change the water in birdbaths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
· Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
· Keep swimming pool water treated and circulated.
Use Structural Barriers
· Cover all gaps in walls, doors, and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
· Make sure window and door screens are in good working order.
· Completely cover baby carriers and beds with netting.
Avoid Getting Bitten
· Keep mosquitoes away from exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
· Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in your clothing where mosquitoes can get to your skin.
· Stay indoors at sunrise, sunset, and early in the evening when mosquitoes are most active.
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