The fight against Dengue
With the ongoing pandemic, it's difficult to focus on something else, but the issue of dengue infection is not one to ignore. After a smaller threat last year, dengue is back with its menacing bite, with Bangladesh in its crosshairs once again. It is imperative to revisit our course of action against it.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Dengue is mainly caused by female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti, which is easily recognised by the white bands on its legs and body. The most efficient preventive measure is to destroy the breeding grounds of this mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water. Cleaning them up would reduce their breeding grounds.
While it is not possible for one person to clean up the whole city, it is possible to make sure that your own abode and neighbourhood is safe. Barrels, bamboo poles, left-out tyres, empty cans and bottles, air conditioners and basically any other sources where water remains stagnant should be removed. The flower pots indoors, drinking bowl of pets, trays or plastic containers are also part of this list. Water in flower vases should be changed every other day. Since it is the rainy season, it is a good idea to ensure that drainage is working properly.
Adulticide is a type of insecticide that can be used to kill adult mosquitoes but can be difficult to administer. Efficient mosquito coils, sprays and repellents could be used for indoors, but one should use additional protective measures such as covering windows and doors with net screens. If possible, keep the windows closed to prevent entry of the mosquitos. While it can be difficult in this season, try to wear long sleeve clothes that cover most of your body for protection.
Using mosquito nets are recommended for a number of reasons. If anyone is already infected, they should be kept inside mosquito nets so that they are not bitten by mosquitos since dengue is a mosquito-borne disease. Even if you are not infected, using mosquito nets will not only offer you protection from aedes and other mosquitos, they are expected to protect you from other insects as well.
If infected, try not to self-medicate and DO NOT PRESCRIBE YOURSELF ANTIBIOTICS. It will only make things worse. Dengue is a serious threat and can be fatal. Consult with your doctor if you have the symptoms and, in the meantime, cleaning up can be a lifesaving preventive measure.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed