Across the world, August 20 is observed as World Mosquito Day. The day is set aside to mark the importance of protecting ourselves and our communities from the potentially deadly diseases transmitted by the insects that are commonly seen in homes across the world. The mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, and West Nile virus. These diseases impact and claim millions of lives worldwide each year. August 20 was particularly chosen to mark World Mosquito Day in a bid to commemorate the discovery that female anopheline mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. The discovery was made by legendary British doctor Sir Ronald Ross in 1897.
World Mosquito Day serves as a reminder to protect ourselves from mosquito-borne diseases. To mark this occasion, here are five effective ways to protect yourself from such diseases:
1. Use mosquito repellent creams: This is one of the most common and straightforward ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Using mosquito-repellent creams or oils on exposed skin has been proven to be effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. However, it is also important to perform a patch test before using the cream all over your body. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions for proper application.
2. Opt for protective clothing: When heading outdoors, it is important to wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes, if you are heading towards the areas that are prone to mosquitoes,
3. Stay away from breeding sites: Prevention is better than cure. Mosquitoes are known to breed in standing water. Therefore, prevent the creation of potential breeding grounds – such as clogged drains and unused pits – around your house or in your locality.
4. Protect your home: There are several ways in which you can ensure that your house is protected from mosquitoes. For instance, you can use window and door screens with small mesh to prevent them from entering your living spaces. You can also use mosquito nets around your beds, and weather stripping to close gaps around doors and windows. This may help reduce mosquito access to your home.
5. Educate yourself: In addition to taking steps to physically protect yourself from mosquito bites, it is important to be aware and informed about mosquito-borne diseases in your area. It is also important to be aware of the initial symptoms of the common mosquito-borne diseases in your area so that you can take active steps in the event that you or your loved ones are infected.