Thursday, 16 September, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Dengue Tips, Fake & Valid



The country is now gripped by the fear of dengue as increasing number of people are being infected with the mosquito transmitted disease, both in the plains and the hills. The capital valley known for its cool and healthy climate is not spared either. The cases of dengue infection and hospital visits of anxious individuals are rising in the capital as well as other hilly districts. Aedes aegypti mosquito, that is said to be active to bite people during day time, is the central agent of spreading this disease. These insects lay their eggs in stagnant waters, mainly in clean and crystal conditions which are found aplenty around households during the rainy season. Large pools are not necessary for these insects to breed and multiply. Small amounts of clean water filled in a container shaped plastic, broken water bottle, used tin receptacle or a pothole can serve as breeding ground for these insects.

In this context, these dangerous insects might be thriving around us in enormous number and thus spreading the disease. Presence of these tiny species of mosquitos at homes, backyards, offices and other public places is a matter of concern. Both the mosquitos and their larvae need to be killed and destroyed with the spraying of prescribed chemicals. The government needs to extend such anti-mosquito and anti-larvae programmes in and around the settlements, especially that have puddles and potholes and vegetation cover around them. Dengue is caused by viral infection and there is no medical treatment to effectively cure it. Admitted in the healthy facilities, the infected victims are advised to drink water and nutritious fluid in order to drive out toxins and raise the capacity of body immunity.

A lot depends on the immunity level of the infected person to cure dengue. In the health sector, we often hear that prevention is better than cure. In this regard, taking precautions and staying away from mosquito bites is the best preventive step. Prevention is the safest option because an infection can be highly risky if the body’s immunity level is too low. There are also some false beliefs and assumptions making rounds about the Aedes mosquitos and dengue transmission. The false tips are spread through social media sites and medical experts advise people to distinguish between fabricated information and truth. In this regard, every anti-dengue tip being disseminated through facebook may not be useful until medical professionals verify its authenticity.

One of the false rumours making rounds in the social media is that Aedes mosquitos bite a person only below the knee line. Those who tend to believe such assumptions use protective application only below their knees and leave other body parts at risk of infection. Actually, the mosquitos bite a person on any part of the body irrespective of body height. There is another false tip which says that applying coconut oil acts as mosquito repellent. When outdoors, some people are rubbing this oil on their lower body parts. However, medical experts say that it is not true these mosquitos bite only on the lower parts of the body. Coconut oil does not repel the insects. The assumption that they cannot fly higher than a person’s knee is unfounded one. Therefore, people need to rely on the tips suggested by medical experts rather than running after invented assumptions.