With the monsoon come various diseases, and one of the most severe one is dengue. Also known as ‘break bone fever’ it is a painful and debilitating disease spread by mosquitoes. Caused due to the bite of an infected female aedes aegypti mosquito, the disease can be fatal.
Once bitten it takes about four to ten days for the symptoms to show. The most common symptoms are high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pain and in some cases a rash. The more severe forms of dengue are hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. There is no clear treatment for the condition nor is there a vaccine against it, so the best way is to prevent the disease from occurring at all. Here are a few simple and practical tips to keep dengue at bay:
- Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are known to bite humans during the day and their most common breeding grounds are man made containers. Therefore, it is advisable to not have any stagnant water around. Remember to clean out empty flower pots and not to over water potted plants. If the container that contains water cannot be emptied, remember to cover it well when not in use.
- Turn over empty pails and buckets, so that they do not collect excess water.
- Use mosquito repellants regularly. Apply it well on all exposed areas, during the day as well as at night.
- Make sure your window and door screens do not have any holes. If so, block those areas properly to eliminate mosquitoes.
- If someone at home is ill with dengue, try to not let the mosquitoes bite them or others in the house.
- Always sleep under a mosquito net.
- If you use a cooler remember to empty out and clean the water tray regularly, even when not in use.
- Always cover your trash can when not in use.
- A natural method to keep mosquitos at bay is to plant tulsi near your window. The plant has properties that do not allow mosquitoes to breed.
- Using camphor as a repellant also works wonders. Light camphor in a room and close all the doors and windows. Leave it this way for about fifteen to twenty minutes to have a mosquito free environment.