Monsoon and mosquito borne diseases

Monsoon and mosquito borne diseases

Monsoon is a relief after the scorching heat of summer. However, mosquitoes find this season the best time to breed and multiply leading to various health hazards! The smell of damp earth, the refreshing feel of the rain and the yummy chai-samosa in the evenings are the things that endear us to this wet season. However, the good is usually accompanied by the bad, and in this case – it is the various water-borne diseases and the malaria-causing mosquitoes. For brave-hearts who think mosquitoes are just another variety of those pesky bugs, think again. Some basic preventive measures one can resort to Prevent stagnant water in and around your house – Open drains, shallow pools of water, air cooler water and so on can be chief breeding areas for mosquitoes. Make sure you change your cooler water regularly. All water sources like wells, tanks, construction reservoirs, underground sumps and overhead tanks should be covered. Gutters and drainage systems should be of the closed type. Get the underground and overhead tanks cleaned, both before and after the monsoons. Screens and netting – Installing netted screens on the doors and windows of your house allows ventilation without entry to the mosquitoes. In tropical countries like India where mosquitoes are more rampant, using mosquito nets over the beds when going to sleep is advisable. Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites - When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. The lesser the amount of exposed skin, the lesser are the chances of getting bitten by the pesky bugs. Use of mosquito repellants – Use of mosquito repellant creams or sprays, and other products like mosquito coils or mats/liquidators are mandatory during the monsoon. Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) to exposed skin when you go outdoors. DEET is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women and in children (in concentrations of 10% or less).