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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: As usual, the monsoon season has brought upon us an army of infections – ranging from mild cold to severe viral pain that lasts for weeks or months - despite providing us a huge relief from the hot, humid summer weather.

     

    This season, many states across the country, including Delhi, are grappling with rising cases of mosquito-borne illnesses, mainly dengue, chikungunya, and malaria. Here's a brief summary of these vector-borne diseases and how you can reduce your risk from becoming a victim to them.

    Dengue - Causes, symptoms and treatment

     

    As per new estimates, the national capital has recorded 771 cases of dengue till September 3, with 284 new cases in just on week and four people having succumbed to the vector-borne disease so far. 

    Dengue fever symptoms include fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. Dengue, if left untreated, can lead to severe dengue (also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever), which is characterized by fever, abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding and breathing difficulty and is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children.

     

    Unfortunetely, there is no vaccine or any specific medicine to treat dengue. Usually, paracetamol are given to patients to reduce the fever. Patients should seek medical advice, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

     

    Both chikungunya and dengue are caused by the females of the same two species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, primarily the first.

     

    According to World Health Organisation (WHO), these mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Aedes aegypti will also readily feed indoors.

    Chikungunya - Symptoms, causes and treatment

     

    Chikungunya which was not a big worry in the past years, has struck the national strongly this time with the city recording 560 cases, according to a municipal report released Tuesday, even as hospitals in the city continue to be swamped by patients affected by this vector-borne disease.

     

    The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) which compiles the vector-borne disease cases report on behalf of all civic bodies, had pegged the total number of cases till August 27 at 432.

    The 128 fresh cases in one week measures far too little compared to its cases being reported at hospitals, on an average close to 200 per week. Doctors say the cases are further likely to rise as peak time is from September mid to October.

    The virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected female Aedes species mosquito - Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus. Symptoms of chikungunya are similar to dengue and may include fever, headache, severe and persistent joint pain, body rash. Although, it is usually not life threatening, the joint pain, which is the prominent feature of chikungunya can last for about a week or two, in some cases it can also persist for months or even longer.

    Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

    Since there is no specific vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus, treatment is directed primarly at relieving symptoms using using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. Getting plenty of rest, taking a proper and healthy diet during and after a chikungunya fever can help the patients recover faster.

    Malaria - Causes, symptoms and treatment

     

    Furthermore, a 30-year-old man became first victim of vector-borne disease malaria in the national capital in the last five years.

     

    Reports say that Praveen Sharma, a resident of east Delhi, was admitted to the Max super specialty hospital in east Delhi on August 28 following high fever and weakness. Tests conducted at the hospital confirmed malaria.

    Sharma, who initially underwent treatment at the Max hospital, was referred to the Safdarjung Hospital after his condition deteriorated on September 2. He was kept in the Intensive Care Unit after being shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital. However, Sharma succumbed to the disease on Sunday night even after undergoing proper medication.

    Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite, transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. As per WHO, there are more than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; around 30 are malaria vectors of major importance and most of them bite between dusk and dawn.

    According to Mayo Clinic, malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people each year.

    The WHO estimates that about 3.2 billion people - almost half of the world’s population - are at risk of malaria.

    Initial symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills, diarrhoea and vomiting (which may be mild and difficult to recognize as malaria). If not treated within 24 hours, P falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.

    Although life-threatening, malaria is preventable and curable. Hence, anti-malaria medication is used to treat and prevent malaria. Also, people travelling to areas where there's a risk of malaria are usually recommended to take antimalarial tablets to reduce their risk.

    Mosquito-borne disease prevention tips

     

    You can protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases during the rainy season or throughout the year by avoiding getting mosquito bites by taking the following measures-

    • Make sure that your window and door screens are in good repair and are properly attached to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
    • Keep your home and surrounding areas neat and clean to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
    • Empty or check any items that hold water such as - flower pots, birdbaths, buckets, cans, and barrels, etc.
    • Avoid mosquito bites by wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
    • Use mosquito repellents with 25% to 30% DEET. However, repellents with DEET should never be used on children under two months of age.
    • Make sure to wear safe and effective repellent cream during peak mosquito feeding times.
    • Use a mosquito bed net while sleeping
    • While travelling, use repellents, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing, long sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks to reduce your risk.
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    Dengue, chikungunya, malaria in Delhi: Symptoms, tips to beat mosquito-borne diseases!

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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: Chikungunya cases are rising rapidly this season in the national capital despite the health authorities' efforts to intensify measures to control the rising number of vector-borne diseases.

    On Thursday, September 8, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said it has tested over 400 new samples for chikungunya in the last two weeks, taking the vector borne cases in the hospital alone to nearly 900.

     

    "The samples testing for Chikungunya is rising. Till now some 885 samples have tested positive for dengue and out of which over 400 are new one tested positive in the last two weeks," Lalit Dar of Department of Microbiology at AIIMS, was quoted as saying.

    Till September 3, the total number of Chikungunya is only 560, as per the civic bodies.

    Even as several hospitals are reporting increasing cases of vector-borne diseases, which also include dengue and malaria, doctors said that the number could rise further as the season peaks in September.

    According to the civic bodies, Delhi has recorded a total of 284 new Dengue cases with the total figure now reaching 771.

     

    So far, no death has occured due to chikungunya in Delhi this season, however, the total number of fatalities in the national capital due to dengue stands at eight. The city also witnessed its first malaria death in five years after a 30-year-old man from east Delhi succumbed to the mosquito-borne disease at Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday evening.

    Chikungunya – What is it? Causes, symptoms and complications

    Chikungunya is a viral illness, primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes, predominantly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus - two species which can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue.

    Chikungunya symptoms are similar to those of dengue, which include high-grade fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, joint swelling, rashes, fatigue, nausea, vomiting,loss of taste, mouth ulcers.

    Symptoms may last for weeks or months or even longer. In some cases, joint pain may persist for years. Although chikungunya disease does not often result in death, the symptoms can be severe and disabling.

    Chikungunya complications are also similar to those of dengue. According to WHO, occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. While serious complications are not common, the disease can contribute to the cause of death in older people.

     

    Chikungunya is particularly dangerous for older people because their immune system is alreay weak due to natural ageing process. Hence, this can lead to serious other health complications such as dementia and other cerebral problems, kidney disorders and paralysis.

    Because symptoms in infected individuals are often mild, the infection may go unrecognised. And only a blood test can definitively diagnose chikungunya.

    See a doctor if you develop symptoms above and think that you have chikungunya, especially if you have recently travelled to an area where there's an outbreak. Doing this will help you avoid further complications. Although chikungunya is very rarely fatal, the symptoms are distressing and can be long-lived.

    Who's at risk for more severe complications?

    • Newborns infected around the time of birth
    • Older adults (≥65 years)
    • People with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

    What to do if you have chikungunya?

    In case, you've contracted chikungunya, avoid mosquito bites as much as possible, especially during the first week of illness to prevent further spread of the virus. This is because during the first week of infection, the virus can be found in the blood of the infected person, which will be then transmitted to other people through mosquito bites.

    Treatment

    Since there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus, treatment basically focuses on relieving the symptoms using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine.

    Besides, patients should take sufficient rest, drink plenty of water and other fluids, eat a healthy diet consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables.

    However, aspirin is not recommended due to the increased risk of bleeding. Despite anti-inflammatory effects, corticosteroids are not recommended during the acute phase of disease, as they may cause immunosuppression and worsen infection.

    But, the good thin gis that there are some home remedies that can be used to treat or relieve the symptoms of chikungunya. Click here to read our home remedy tips for chikungunya.

    Prevention tips

    • The best method to prevent chikungunya is avoiding contact with mosquitoes. Remember, mosquitoes that spread the chikungunya virus bite mostly during the daytime. Here are some preventive steps you can take-
    • Using insect safe and effective moquito repellents.
    • Wearing clothing that covers the whole body.
    • Using air conditioning or window/door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
    • Using mosquito coils and insecticide vaporizers.
    • Staying indoors as much as possible, especially during early morning and late afternoon
    • Sleeping under a mosquito net
    • Avoiding travelling to areas experiencing chikungunya outbreaks

    History of chikungunya

    Chikungunya fever was first detected in 1952 on the Makonde Plateau, along the border between Mozambique and Tanganyika (the mainland part of modern-day Tanzania). The word 'chikungunya' is believed to have been derived from a description in the Makonde language, meaning "that which bends up"– a reference to the contorted posture of people affected with the severe joint pain and arthritic symptoms associated with this disease.

    As per Wikipedia, the first recorded outbreak of chikungunya may have been in 1779, which is in agreement with the molecular genetics evidence that suggests it evolved around the year 1700.

    Chikungunya was initially considered a tropical disease because it had only been witnessed in Africa, Asia and the India subcontinent. However, since 2007, outbreaks have occured Europe and the Americas.

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    Chikungunya outbreak in Delhi: What you need to know, why it is so dangerous for the elderly!

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    Zee Media bureau

    New Delhi:There are no specific dietary recommendations for people suffering from chikungunya, but eating a balanced diet and healthy food might help in recovery. Chikungunya is a viral disease, transmitted mostly through mosquito bites.

    Here are some tips that might help in recovery.

    More liquid intake

    Include more of liquid food like soups, coconut water or lemon water in your daily diet. Even eat liquid foods like dals and gravies for meals rather than eating fried foods, as it will prevent you dehydration.

    Leafy vegetables

    Leafy vegetables are one of the best foods on the planet as they are easy to digest and contains low in calories. They also contain Vitamin C that restores your health and keep you away from life threatening diseases like Chikungunya.

    Omega – 3 fatty acids

    The omega-3 fatty acid are good fats that helps to improve bone strength and also lowers inflammation and reduces joint stiffness in people suffering from chinkungunya.

    Eat apples and vitamin c rich foods

    Apples and bananas contains rich amount of potassium and fibre that helps in improving your appetite. And even foods that are  rich in vitamin C like guavas, kiwis, strawberries, etc are also loaded with antioxidants that also boost your immune function, helping you to fight chikungunya.

     

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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: Dengue, chikungunya and malaria are three types of vector-borne illnesses, posing severe health threats. Dengue and chikungunya are both viral infections commonly spread by the Aedes mosquito. The viruses are transmitted from one person to another by the bites of infected female mosquitoes.

     

    While dengue fever is mostly spread by the Aedes aegypti, chikungunya virus is often spread by the Aedes albopictus. However, both types of mosquitoes can spread both diseases.

    Malaria, on the other hand, is a parasitic infection transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. Malaria is transmitted to humans through bites by infected mosquitoes.

    This year, the monsoon season has brought about a staggering increase in cases of vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya and dengue in Delhi. Until September 8, the city has recorded a total of 771 dengue cases and nearly 900 chikungunya cases.

    Since the symptoms of these diseases are so similar, it may be quite difficult to make a conclusive identification without laboratory testing. But, there are few differences that can be used to distinguish the disease and avoid misdiagnoses.

    Understanding dengue fever

     

    The dengue infection can be asymptomatic (up to 40% to 80%), mild or cause a serious illness. If left untreated, it can cause death. Symptoms may also vary, depending upon the type of virus and the level of the patients' immunity.

     

    The incubation period ranges from 3 to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, and disease duration varies from 4 to 7 weeks.

    Common symptoms include – high fever, headache, severe muscle pain (on the back, arms and legs), joint pain (on knees and shoulders), severe pain behind the eyes, skin rashes (usually on face and limbs), fatigue, nausea, low white cell count, loss of appetite, etc.

     

    In severe cases of the disease, the symptoms may include – shock, breathing difficulty, heavy bleeding (such as nose and gum bleed or easy bruising), abdominal pain, vomiting blood, persistent vomiting, dizziness, hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure).

    Understanding chikungunya fever

     

    Majority of people infected with chikungunya virus become symptomatic (approximately 70%). The incubation periodranges from 2 to 12 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, with an average of 2 to 7 days. Disease duration varies from one to two weeks. But, symptoms such as joint pain may persist for weeks, months or even years (in the chronic phase of the disease).

     

    Initial symptoms include – high fever, severe joint pain (on hands and feet), muscle pain, skin rashes (mainly on the trunk, hands and feet), headache.

    Other symptoms may include – joint swelling, vomiting, fatigue, sore throat, conjunctivitis

    photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light). Neurological damage is possible, but rare.

    Although, chikungunya is rarely fatal, the virus can cause serious complications in aged adults (> 65 years), babies or people with underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. The virus has been declared as an emerging global health threat.

    Understanding malaria

     

    Normally, incubation period varies from 7 to 30 days, depending on the specific parasite you're infected with. The incubation period may be longer if you're taking medicive to prevent infection or if you have some immunity due to previous infections. As per WebMD, the time between exposure and signs of illness may sometimes be as long as 8 to 10 months with P. vivax and P. ovale.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria symptoms can be classified in two categories: uncomplicated and severe malaria.

    Symptoms of uncomplicated malaria may include – high fever, flu-like illness, headaches, shivering, sensation of cold, vomiting, sweats. Malaria, if left untread, may develop severe complications and die.

    Severe malaria occurs when the infections are complicated by serious organ failures in the patient's blood or metabolism. It is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately and aggressively.

    Symptoms of severe malaria include -fever and chills, abnormal behavior, impairment of consciousness, seizures, coma, severe anemia, acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS (a medical condition characterized by widespread inflammation in the lungs), low blood pressure, abnormalities in blood coagulation, acute kidney failure, hypoglycemia (low blood glucose

    Treatment and prevention for dengue, chikungunya and malaria

     

    Because there's no specific vaccine to prevent either dengue fever or chikungunya, treatment basically focuses on pain relief and rehydration. Patients are advised to take plenty of water and other fluids, and a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.

    In the case of malaria, antimalarial drugs can be used to prevent the disease.

    Since dengue, chikungunya and malaria are all transmitted by moquitoes, you can can take some wise precautionary measures to avoid getting mosquito bites that can make you become a victim of these diseases. 

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    Dengue, chikungunya in Delhi: Understanding and identifying mosquito-borne diseases!

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    Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan

    New Delhi: With vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya plaguing our national capital, our first and foremost priority has become protection.

    Dengue and chikungunya are both viral infections commonly spread by the Aedes mosquito. The viruses are transmitted from one person to another by the bites of infected female mosquitoes.

    Ever since the monsoon season hit Delhi, it has led to a staggering rise in mosquito-breeding because of which, dengue and chikungunya are spreading like wildfire.

     

    Until September 8, the city has recorded a total of 771 dengue cases and as of September 10, at least 1,057 chikungunya cases.

    This largely brings health concerns to the forefront. Given below is a list of ways, following which, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites to a great extent.

    1. Mosquito repellants:

    This is the first thing to do in such a situation. The effect of repellents lasts upto six to eight hours and you don't exactly need to apply it unless you're going out. Only apply on skin that’s not covered by your clothes.

    2. Avoid exercising outdoors:

    Mosquitoes seek out chemicals in your breath and are easily attracted to your sweat as well as to movement and heat. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), these mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Ae. aegypti will also readily feed indoors. After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between 4 and 8 days but can range from 2 to 12 days. You can instead do exercises like stretches and on-the-spot jogging at home, along with yoga. If you have to do your workouts outside, make sure you apply repellant on exposed skin.

     

    3. Using floor/table fans:

    Were you aware that mosquitoes can't stand brisk breeze? They can’t fly at speeds above 20 mph, because wind disperses the body odors that entice them. Therefore, floor fans can be an effective deterrent if they’re directed to blow across your full body.

    4. Wear synthetic fibers:

    We have always been warned to wear clothes that cover us well, however, there has been little or no mention of the kind of fabrics we should use. Mosquitoes have the ability to feed through clothes as well, therefore, what we need is clothing made out of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and rayon, which is more tightly-woven and helps block mosquito bites.

    5. Wear covering shoes:

    Some people have sweaty feet, which sets off a mosquito's taste buds. To avoid this, sneakers are your best bet, otherwise wear socks to protect your feet from mosquito bites.

     

    6. Floral fragrances:

    Floral scents have been shown to be somewhat attractive to mosquitoes, therefore, try to avoid using perfumes if you want to protect yourself.

    7. Protective screens:

    If you feel that your house is open and airy, which invites mosquitoes, your first move should be to set up protective mesh screens on all your doors and windows, which will block mosquitoes from entering your home.

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    Dengue, Chikungunya outbreak: What you can do to protect yourself from these vectors!

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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: Chikungunya has been triggering fear amongst residents in Delhi as the city saw a sharp rise in cases from the mosquito-borne viral infection this week, taking the toll to 1,057. Till Tuesday September 12, three people have succumbed to chikungunya at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi this season.

     

    Besides, the national capital has also been grappling with dengue fever and some cases of malaria this season.

    In addition to medication, diet plays a vital role in treating these infections. Although chikungunya often doesn't lead to death, it's a life-threatening disease. It weakens the immune system, which has a negative impact on the digestive system. Here are some diet tips to treat or prevent chikungunya:

     

    • A soft but balanced diet should be taken by people suffering from chikungunya fever.
    • Take plenty of fluids in the form of water, soups, dal and broths to help flush out virus fast from the body.
    • Increase intake of leafy vegetables that are easy to digest and rich in vitamins A and C.
    • Eat foods rich in selenium, chromium, zinc, and the vitamins A, C, and E in order to build immunity. These nutrients are natural antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals in our body.
    • Fruits like oranges, sweet lime, amla capsicum, broccoli, pineapple, cabbage, papaya, and guavas are rich in vitamin C, which can destroy invasive viruses and bacteria.
    • Vitamin A foods are yellow-orange colored fruits and vegetables and can increase the production of natural infection-fighting cells.
    • Also, increase intake of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are very important to building strong bones and muscles and making the joints supple.

     

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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: The sudden spike in the number of of mosquito-borne illnesses, mainly chikungunya and dengue, has caused panic and concerns amongst reseidents in the national capital.

    Till date, chikungunya, which was first reported in 1952, has claimed 12 lives in the national capital this season, prompting Union Health Minister J.P Nadda to seek a report from the Delhi Government on the rising deaths and number of patients.

     

    Here are some facts to know about the chikungunya virus:

    • Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans through mosquitoe bites.
    • Chikungunya virus is spread to people by the Aedes species of mosquito, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus - the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite during the day and at night.
    • As per CDC, chikungunya virus is transmitted rarely from mother to newborn around the time of birth. To date, no infants have been found to be infected with chikungunya virus through breastfeeding. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where chikungunya virus is circulating.

     

    • Like dengue, symptoms of chikungunya include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash. That is why, it can be misdiagnosed as dengue. Chikungunya is likely to give rise to severe and prolonged joint pains, which is the most distinguished symptom of it from dengue.
    • There is no specific treatment or drugs to cure chikungunya or dengue. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms, using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. The best way to prevent chikungunya is to protect yourself against mosquitoes bites.
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    Zee Media Bureau

    New Delhi: Don't be scared if you've fallen victim to chikungunya or dengue fever infection that has taken a significant toll on Delhiites with a large number of people getting infected with the diseases.

     

     

    But, don't get stung, because there's no specific medication to treat or vaccine to cure for these viruses. Yet, the best thing you and your family members can do is taking some precautionary steps such as – avoiding mosquito bites, maintaining a well-informed understanding of these viruses, using insect repellents, taking preventive medicines, etc. 

     

    However, if you think you or a family member has been infected with these viruses, ensure that the following treatment is being followed:

    • Drink plenty of water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables.
    • If symptoms develop and infection is suspected, check with your doctor first before starting medication
    • Take medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding).
    • Also, take to your doctor before taking additional medication for another health condition.

     

    Both dengue and chikungunya are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito.

    Chikungunya is characterized by high fever, joint swelling and pain, muscle pain, rash, headache, nausea and fatigue. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks, months or even years.

    Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, bleeding from the gums, nose or ears, and rash.

    So far, the death toll from mosquito-borne disease chikungunya has risen to 14 in Delhi this season. The death toll due to dengue has also risen to 18, with nine new cases reported by AIIMS on Thursday.

    The death toll due to dengue has also risen to 14, with nine new cases reported by AIIMS on Thursday.

    Hence, the death toll caused by vector borne diseases has reached 27, which also includes that of a 30-year-old man due to malaria.

    Municipal Corporation data puts the number of dengue, chikungunya and malaria infections at 1,158, 1,057 and 21 respectively.

    Stay safe!

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    Chikungunya, dengue outbreak in Delhi: What can you do!

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    New Delhi: Malaria is swiftly gaining momentum around the world and has researchers scurrying to seek preventive measures.

    The disease carrying vectors are rapidly infesting all the corners of the world and are proving to be a huge menace.

    This largely brings health concerns to the forefront and experts have always been vocal about various precautionary measures for people to stay aware and use them to protect themselves.

    Now, scientists have suggested a new way that will help you protect yourselves from getting bitten – light!

    According to scientists, exposing malaria-causing mosquitoes to short pulses of white light during the night can prevent them from biting.

    Critical behaviours exhibited by the Anopheles gambiae mosquito – the major vector for transmission of malaria in Africa – such as feeding, egg laying and flying, are time-of-day specific, including a greater propensity for nighttime biting.

    Insecticide-treated bed nets and walls have helped prevent bites and reduce malaria, but researchers say mosquitoes are adapting to preventive conditions, leaving adults and children vulnerable in the early evening and early morning hours – when they are not under the nets or in the house.

    "Anopheline mosquitoes are adapting to current preventive methods by developing resistance to insecticides and by shifting feeding to earlier in the evening or later into the early morning, times of the day when people are not in bed and therefore not protected by a net," said Giles Duffield, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame in the US.

    Researchers tested the mosquitoes' preference to bite during their active host-seeking period by separating them into multiple control and test batches.

    Control mosquitoes were kept in the dark, while test batches were exposed to a pulse of white light for 10 minutes.

    Researchers then tested the propensity of the mosquitoes to bite immediately after the pulse and every two hours throughout the night, holding their arms to a mesh lining that allowed uninfected mosquitoes to feed while remaining contained.

    Results indicated a significant suppression. In another experiment, mosquitoes were pulsed with light every two hours, and using this multiple pulse approach the team found that biting could be suppressed during a large portion of the 12-hour night.

    "Most remarkable is the prolonged effect a short light treatment has on their preference to bite, with suppression lasting as long as four hours after the pulse," Duffield said.

    "This may prove to be an effective tool that complements established control methods used to reduce disease transmission," he added.

    Pulses of light would probably be more effective than constant exposure as the mosquitoes would be less likely to adapt to light presented in periodic doses, researchers said.

    The study was published in the journal Parasites and Vectors.

    (With PTI inputs)

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    New Delhi: The Northeastern state of Manipur has been hit by mosquito-borne diseases, claiming at least lives of 16 people in village along the India-Myanmar border, while another four deaths in other parts are suspected to have the same cause.

    The situation has prompted Manipur Health and Family Welfare Minister L Jayantakumar Singh to sound a high health alert over mosquito-borne diseases in the state on Sunday, particularly in areas bordering Myanmar, such as Tengnoupal and Churachandpur districts.

    He said the diseases may break out in some parts of the state since there is trans-border movement of persons.

    The minister added that the government has sounded alerts and started taking preventive measures to check outbreak of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

    Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who took stock of the situation in an emergency meeting, said over 200 persons are affected by mosquito-borne diseases in just one district - Churachandpur.

    "A fund had been sanctioned to transport over 100 persons from Henglep and other inaccessible villages in Churachandpur. If needed, the persons will be airlifted.

    "This morning we have despatched 15 doctors and 30 paramedics to Churachandpur along with medicines to cope with the situation. We have deployed health officials in border towns to check those coming from other areas of infections," he said.

    Meanwhile, a woman, whose husband died recently, has appealed to the authorities to disclose the cause of death.

    According to health officials, he was suffering from suspected swine flu.

    His fluid samples were sent to Guwahati to establish the cause of the ailment, however, he died before the results were received.

    Mosquito-borne diseases

    Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. These include dengue, chikungunya, malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, among others.

    Reports say over 100 persons from Henglep sub-division in Churachandpur district were hospitalised during the last three days following an outbreak of dengue and Japanese encephalitis (JE) – a disease spread through mosquito bites. JE is an infection of the brain caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV).

    Symptoms

    Common signs and symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses include – fever, headache, chills, malaise, nausea, body aches, hypotension, etc.

    Preventing mosquito-borne illnesses

    While mosquitoes transmit several dangerous diseases, which can be fatal, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk or protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases. The best way to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid mosquito bites. Here are some ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites that can make you sick:

    • Use insect repellent – opt for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, which are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
    • Wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    • Use screens on your windows and doors.
    • Use mosquito nets while sleeping.
    • Empty or treat any items that hold water, such as flower pots, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, cans, and barrels to reduce mosquito breeding places in your house or yard.
    • Keep your surroundings clean and dry.

    Besides taking these precautions, you should seek medical help right away if you develop a fever, headache, rash, muscle or joint pain.

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