The Telegraph
Saturday , November 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Self-defence against dengue
- As the vector-borne disease infects more people, it’s better to be safe than sorry

Nov. 16: People can take some simple precautions at home to protect themselves from dengue, which health officials here are trying their best to keep at bay

Given below is a list of items that can come in handy in keeping yourself safe from the disease-transmitting mosquitoes

Mosquito nets: Though everyone knows its benefits, most make the mistake of not using one at night. Medicated nets are also available now and are distributed by the state government among people in different areas of the state. Though the medicated repellents sprayed on these wear out after a few washes, re-spraying restores the effectiveness

Mosquito repellent ointments and lotions: Many use these medicated mosquito repellents can be applied on exposed parts of the body to effectively ward off the blood-sucking pests

Assam Medical College and Hospital principal Dr A.K. Adhikari says, “We recommend the use of mosquito repellent lotions or ointments in mosquito-prone areas. It causes no harm to the body and can be washed off easily”

Burning of dried coconut peel with dhuna (a resin): A traditional mosquito repellent, this traditional fumigation method has always been used to ward off mosquitoes, flies and other insects. The gas emitted by the burning resin is believed to kill germs and is non-toxic

Burning of paper egg trays: Though this helps ward off mosquitoes, it is advisable to do so in the open. A small amount of carbon monoxide gas is emitted when these trays are burned, inhalation of which is not good for health

Mosquito coils and sprays: People should avoid burning the coils inside closed rooms as, according to Bhattacharyya, “The gas emitted by the burning mosquito coils can aggravate respiratory problems in people suffering from asthma, bronchitis and allergy.” Most sprays, however, can be used indoors

This is what the civic bodies are doing to keep mosquitoes at bay

Fogging: It is accepted as the most effective way of killing the dengue-transmitting adult Ades agypti mosquito. Though the state health department, together with Guwahati Municipal Corporation, is carrying out fogging in the city, many areas have still not been covered.

Spraying of DDT: Though an effective way of killing mosquitoes, head, GMCH department of medicine, Dr Prasanta Bhattacharya, says, “When DDT is being sprayed, people should stand aside and keep all edibles covered. Health workers also need to take precautions while spraying DDT indoors”

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