Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan
New Delhi: With vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya plaguing our national capital, our first and foremost priority has become protection.
Dengue and chikungunya are both viral infections commonly spread by the Aedes mosquito. The viruses are transmitted from one person to another by the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
Ever since the monsoon season hit Delhi, it has led to a staggering rise in mosquito-breeding because of which, dengue and chikungunya are spreading like wildfire.
Until September 8, the city has recorded a total of 771 dengue cases and as of September 10, at least 1,057 chikungunya cases.
This largely brings health concerns to the forefront. Given below is a list of ways, following which, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites to a great extent.
1. Mosquito repellants:
This is the first thing to do in such a situation. The effect of repellents lasts upto six to eight hours and you don't exactly need to apply it unless you're going out. Only apply on skin that’s not covered by your clothes.
2. Avoid exercising outdoors:
Mosquitoes seek out chemicals in your breath and are easily attracted to your sweat as well as to movement and heat. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), these mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Ae. aegypti will also readily feed indoors. After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between 4 and 8 days but can range from 2 to 12 days. You can instead do exercises like stretches and on-the-spot jogging at home, along with yoga. If you have to do your workouts outside, make sure you apply repellant on exposed skin.
3. Using floor/table fans:
Were you aware that mosquitoes can't stand brisk breeze? They can’t fly at speeds above 20 mph, because wind disperses the body odors that entice them. Therefore, floor fans can be an effective deterrent if they’re directed to blow across your full body.
4. Wear synthetic fibers:
We have always been warned to wear clothes that cover us well, however, there has been little or no mention of the kind of fabrics we should use. Mosquitoes have the ability to feed through clothes as well, therefore, what we need is clothing made out of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and rayon, which is more tightly-woven and helps block mosquito bites.
5. Wear covering shoes:
Some people have sweaty feet, which sets off a mosquito's taste buds. To avoid this, sneakers are your best bet, otherwise wear socks to protect your feet from mosquito bites.
6. Floral fragrances:
Floral scents have been shown to be somewhat attractive to mosquitoes, therefore, try to avoid using perfumes if you want to protect yourself.
7. Protective screens:
If you feel that your house is open and airy, which invites mosquitoes, your first move should be to set up protective mesh screens on all your doors and windows, which will block mosquitoes from entering your home.