Malaria, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya are the most prevalent diseases spread by mosquitoes. The transmissions of these diseases are largely due to being bitten by a mosquito that is infected. Research has recently shown that Zika however can also be contracted by unprotected sex with a person infected with the virus. Therefore, it is very relevant in reviewing steps to simply prevent how we can minimize our risks of being bitten .Here are some of the ways:
- Use of mosquito repellent spray
There are various products on the market with the most common brands being ‘OFF! Deepwood’, ‘Go’ , ‘ Naptrapel’ and ‘Sawyer’, just to name a few. Regardless of the brand, we must always pay close attention to the concentration of DEET which is the key ingredient that repels mosquitoes. Products containing Picaridin are also thought to be effective .The recommended concentration for the safe and effective use of DEET is 15-30% while for Picaridin it is 20%. A great level of care must be taken when applying these products because the cunning nature of mosquitoes may direct them to bite an area of the skin that was missed during application .All production provide direction on their effective usage and such should be taken into consideration greatly. There are natural products on the market that are considered to be relatively effective and two examples are: citronella and lemon eucalyptus.
- Getting rid of breeding sites
More than half of the areas infested with mosquitoes normally have breeding sites within them or close by. Breeding sites are usually outdoors in stagnant water. These are often seen in containers such as pots, tins, tires etc. It is therefore important to check outdoors and get rid of these containers or turn them downwards to prevent water from collecting in them.
- Wearing appropriate clothes
The key is wearing suitable clothes that cause minimal exposure of the skin to avoid being bitten. It is ideal to wear long sleeves shirts /blouse as well as long pants/ trousers. It is preferred to wear lighter colours as opposed to darker ones since mosquitoes tend to prefer dark areas or being against dark objects or backgrounds.
- Use of mosquito net
A lot of mosquitoes bite at nights when the environment is darker so sleeping under a net is strongly advised. Nets should be checked regularly for large holes since they can make entry through such.
If you are were bitten by a mosquito and develop signs/symptoms such as: fever, rash, fatigue and joint pain which is common to most mosquito-borne disease, please seek urgent medical attention.