Monsoon surely brings relief from scorching heat but it also sets the breeding ground for mosquitoes that cause various infections and illnesses. Besides, our immunity gets weaker during monsoons that make us an easy target for mosquito-borne illnesses. Dengue, malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever and zika virus are most prevalent in India. You should watch out for their potential symptoms and take precautionary measures beforehand to stay healthy and safe.
Dengue spreads when infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite a healthy person. This viral infection can be mild to severe depending upon the immune condition of the affected person.
As per the data provided by National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, 10,172 confirmed cases of dengue and 3 deaths have been reported in India till May ‘22. This number is alarming and calls for a dire need of attention and prevention. Watch out for these initial symptoms of dengue fever that usually come within 4-10 days after mosquito bite:
- Persistent high fever (102 degrees fahrenheit and above)
- Body ache
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Sensitivity towards light
- Rashes on skin
NOTE- A person can get dengue multiple times and with every infection, the risk of developing severe disease increases.
Also Read: Can Dengue Happen Twice? Know From Expert
Malaria is caused when Anopheles minimus mosquito carrying Plasmodium parasite bites a healthy person. This transmits malaria which causes high fever(upto 105 degrees fahrenheit) for many days. In India, about 9 Anopheline vectors of malaria cause Plasmodium transmission to humans. WHO South East Asia Regional Office data estimates 15 million cases and over 20,000 deaths due to malaria in India.
Symptoms of malaria include Fever, chills and body ache. If you suffer from these, get tested for malaria and take medicines as prescribed by a doctor.
Chikungunya is another prevalent mosquito-borne disease in Asian countries with 1 lakh cases being reported annually. Mostly, Chikungunya spreads in early monsoons as this mosquito breeds above 29 degrees.
Till date, 22724 cases of chikungunya and 1554 deaths have been confirmed by the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare(https://nvbdcp.gov.in/index4.php?lang=1&level=0&linkid=486&lid=3765).
Zika virus is caused by an infected Aedes mosquito bite. This is a mosquito-borne flavivirus which is not very common in the country but time-to-time cases get identified. This is the most dangerous virus that causes complications in pregnant women. If a pregnant woman gets infected with zika virus, she may suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery. Besides, adults and children are highly likely to get neurological complications due to the Zika virus.
Symptoms of zika are similar to other mosquito-borne illnesses. This includes fever, headache, joint pain, rashes and red eyes.
How To Prevent Mosquito-Borne Illnesses?
The above-mentioned mosquito-borne diseases don’t have vaccines and hence, there is no treatment for them as such. Doctors prescribe medicines to manage the symptoms and subside them over time. So, prevention is the first line of defense. Make sure you do the following to keep yourself safe:
- Prevent stagnant water in your surroundings. Empty all the containers and put them upside down to prevent water collection.
- Use mosquito repellents before heading out.
- Avoid going out in the evening as it is the peak time of mosquito bites.
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Put mosquito-repelling plants(Citronella, bee balm, rosemary, lemon grass, and marigold)at entry points of the house
- Wear long-sleeved clothes when going out to parks and water bodies
Consult your doctor when you witness any symptom of mosquito-borne diseases. Timely diagnosis and medical aid can prevent complications.
Image credits- freepik