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Monsoon health tips: How to protect yourself from dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases

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Dengue is a debilitating mosquito-borne viral infection that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes, mainly by the species Aedes aegypti. The best way to protect yourself from dengue fever is to prevent mosquito bites. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of mosquito bites.

Dengue is a debilitating mosquito-borne viral infection |Photo Credit:&nbspThinkstock

New Delhi: With monsoon setting in, it’s time that you take all possible precautionary measures to prevent or reduce your risk of infections. The rainy season, which is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, as we all know is synonymous with the advent of dengue and other vector-borne diseases such as malaria, and chikungunya. At least 53 cases of malaria and 33 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi this season. According to the report released by South Delhi Municipal Corporation, of the total 16 chikungunya cases this season, three were reported in the first week of July.

Dengue is a debilitating mosquito-borne viral infection that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes, mainly of the species Aedes aegypti. This mosquito also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika infection. The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about half of the world’s population is now at risk of dengue. People infected with the dengue virus have mild or no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be confused with other illnesses that cause fever and flu-like illness. Common signs and symptoms of dengue fever may include the following:

  • Sudden, high fever of 104 F degrees
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Skin rash

You should seek medical help if you think you have dengue fever. There is no specific treatment for dengue, but early detection can help reduce the risk of complications and lower fatality rates. Dengue, if left untreated, can damage the lungs, liver, and heart, in severe cases. Read: Four foods to include in your daily diet during monsoon

The best way to protect yourself from dengue fever is to prevent mosquito bites. Here are a few tips to reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

  • Keep your surroundings clean and get rid of stagnant water to reduce viable breeding areas for mosquitoes.
  • Cover, empty and clean domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothes.
  • Use mosquito repellent – for your skin, opt for the one that contains at least 10 per cent concentration of DEET.
  • Use personal household protection such as window screens, coils and vaporisers, etc. Make sure your window and door screens are secure and free of holes.
  • Sleep under mosquito nets, especially if sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned.

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