Mosquitoes Can Infect Their Eggs With Dengue
Spraying not enough to eliminate dengue, prevention is key
The incidence of dengue will continue to exist this month and instead of creating unnecessary chaos and panic, it is essential that awareness is created about its prevention and timely steps are taken towards disease management.
The first step typically taken towards eliminating dengue is large scale spraying. What most people remain unaware of is that spraying affects adult mosquitoes, but it does not usually kill the immature forms — the eggs and larvae. Spraying only reduces transmission, but it may not eliminate the virus. The aedes mosquito can pass the virus to their offspring in their eggs making control harder.
Usually, it takes people plus mosquitoes to spread a virus. The mosquitoes bite actively infected people, incubate the virus for a while, and then bite other people to spread it. If no people in an area are infected, no virus spreads. Using mosquito nets, mosquito repellents with DEET and constantly checking for breeding in and outside one’s house are highly recommended.
Aedes are container breeders — they can lay their eggs in small containers and need just a tiny bit of water to hatch. They live in and around houses and like crowded urban areas where spraying is difficult. Spraying insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes cannot wipe out Aedes. They lay their eggs right above the water line in a small container, a discarded tire or some trash. So when that container is filled and the water covers the eggs, the eggs hatch. It is important that the inside of a container is scrubbed to kill the eggs. The eggs can survive being dried out, and they stick really well. They're impervious to insecticides or other chemicals. So simply emptying containers regularly does not necessarily get rid of the mosquitoes.
Speaking about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India said,” One must remember that only 1% of the dengue cases are life-threatening. Most dengue cases can be handled on an outpatient basis and do not require hospitalization. It is important the formula of 20 to manage dengue fever - If there is a rise in pulse by 20, fall in upper blood pressure by 20, rise in hematocrit by 20 percent, rapid fall in platelets to less than 20,000, platelet count of more than 20 in one inch after tourniquet test and the difference between upper and lower blood pressure is less than 20, then such cases should be given 20 ml of fluid per kg immediately and then shifted to nearest medical center for medical assistance”,
Ways to protect yourself from the bite of the Aedes Aegypti
- ·Use Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.
- Use insect repellent with 20% to 35% of the chemical DEET; more than 35% of the chemical known as diethyltoluamide can irritate skin.
- Make sure you apply it to all exposed skin.
- Apply insect repellent correctly. Apply sunscreen before repellent, not on top of it.
- Apply and let sunscreen dry before using insect repellent. You want the mosquito to land on the repellent, not your sunscreen.
- Minimize exposed skin and wear light-colored long sleeved shirts and pants. Mosquitoes are drawn to dark colors, floral patterns and sweet perfumes.
- Wear clothing treated with permethrin, a chemical used as an insecticide.
- Treat your own clothes, shoes, tents, etc. with a permethrin spray.
- Sleep under mosquito nets with windows and doors closed or securely screened if there is no air conditioning.