Upon my return from India, I noticed that two large banners had been put up in my residential area while I was away. What? This area is now a dengue hotspot!
The health authorities are working hard fogging the area this past couple of weeks, usually in the mornings from 5am to 7am and 5pm to 7pm. These are the hours when the Aedes mosquitoes are most active.
The Aedes mosquito is what we know as “zebra” mosquito with its black and white stripes on its body.
Last month, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that the biggest stumbling rock in the battle against dengue was the lack of an effective treatment. No doubt, the vaccine has been introduced but it is not 100 percent potent due to its limited scope of usage.
So, what to do? Only two things: control the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes and avoid being bitten by them.
I have read that it doesn’t take much water for the vector (Aedes) to breed. Just the thickness of a coin. Imagine that. Contrary to popular belief, Aedes mosquitoes prefer to breed in clean, stagnant water. Anyway, just to be safe, clear out all stagnant water.
To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, besides not going to spots that mosquitoes like to hide, cover your arms and legs with light-coloured clothing, and apply mosquito repellent on exposed skin.
While some people advocate using mosquito repellents such as liquid electric mosquito repellent, mosquito coil and aerosol, I prefer to use chemical-free devices such as these zappers and also hide under the mosquito net when I am in bed.
Anyway, I believe that if everyone who lives in this area takes proper care of the environment by keeping things dry and clean, we can stop the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes, hence preventing dengue.
Take action NOW! There is another threat in Aedes mosquitoes as they are also vectors for the Zika virus. The World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on February 1 due to the Zika outbreak.
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