After last summer’s scorching heat, the rains arrived as a welcome relief to Goans. The rains however brought their own set of worries with them. It is a well known fact that stagnated water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Hence, it is very important to keep the surroundings clean, especially making sure the water does not get stagnated. If unchecked diseases caused by mosquitoes could multiply. In July 2015, 26 cases of dengue were reported.
Some common diseases caused by mosquitoes in Goa
Malaria – “An intermittent and remittent fever caused by a protozoan parasite which invades the red blood cells and is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions.” – Source
Dengue – “A debilitating viral disease of the tropics, transmitted by mosquitoes, and causing sudden fever and acute pains in the joints.” – Source
Japanese encephalitis (JE) – “A disease spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. Symptoms that develop later include swelling around the brain and coma. JE is a serious disease that may cause death.” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Chikungunya – “A viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.” – World Health Organisation (WHO)
Lymphatic Filariasis also known as Elephantiasis – “Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. The adult worms only live in the human lymph system. The lymph system maintains the body’s fluid balance and fights infections.” – Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Measures to prevent mosquito borne diseases
It is very difficult to eliminate mosquitoes completely, but their effects can be reduced to a minimum by following a few easy steps:
Keep it clean – It is essential to keep the surroundings clean. All the places that accumulate stagnated water need to be destroyed or drained. Junk like abandoned tyres make an ideal locations for breeding, hence tyres need to be disposed properly.
Don’t kill the frog – The amphibians are natures way of keeping the mosquito population under control. Frog’s prey include flies, ticks and mosquitoes that carry vector-borne diseases.
Use mosquito repellents (important) – The products are worth investing into given the fact that they provide protection from harmful diseases.
Mosquitoes are a force to be reckoned with. It is better to take precautions rather than suffer their consequences. This can also be another incentive to keep the area clean.