According to statistics, close to one million people in India, suffer from Malaria, every year. The disease starts spreading from the bite of a female anopheles mosquito and can be fatal in severe cases. According to the World Health Organization, nearly four lakh people die of malaria every year in the world, 6% from India, alone.
In order to prevent the spread of the disease and to keep yourself protected from the possibilities of mosquito bites, following the tips below, will be crucial.
- Insecticidal Nets – Use of long lasting insecticide treated nets every night. It is one of the most cost effective and sustainable method for protection against malaria. These nets are treated in the factory with an insecticide incorporated into the fabric which helps in keeping the insects at bay.
- Dress Smart– Avoid mosquito bites by wearing light, loose-fitting trousers rather than shorts, and wear shirts with long sleeves. This is particularly important during early evening and at night, when mosquitoes prefer to feed.
- Mosquito Repellents: Judiciously use mosquito repellents on oneself. DEET is a chemical that is often used in insect repellents and has proven to be useful in wading them off. It is not recommended for babies who are less than two months old but is safe for older children and adults. Spray it on your hands and pat on to your face and exposed skin, this helps in keeping the mosquitoes away.
- Antimalarial Medicine: Currently, there is no vaccine available that offers prevention against malaria. If you are travelling to a malaria affected area, you can take anti-malarial medicine to reduce the risk. Also, make sure you take the right antimalarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course, make sure you consult a doctor before use.
- Diagnosis – Seek immediate medical advice, if you have symptoms that may indicate malaria, such as high fever, shivering, profuse sweating muscle pain, severe headache, vomiting and blood stools etc.
- Avoid water gathering: Destroy potential breeding sites such as old tires, desert-coolers, birdbaths, pots, etc. where water can accumulate. This is one of the most important and necessary steps people must take in order to reduce the risk ofmalaria and other mosquito borne diseases.
By: Dr. Sunita Yadav