Hello, everyone. It’s Wednesday already!
You’ve all probably heard about the Zika virus causing problems in the Americas. This virus is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito (Aedes mosquito). People with the infection usually have symptoms like fever, rashes and conjunctivtits (red eyes). These symptoms can last up to a week and currently have no treatment or vaccine. So, the best form of prevention is really ensuring that the environment is free from mosquitoes.
Just before you begin to think it’s an American proble 😀 please note that it was first identified in Uganda (I don’t know if there’s a conspiracy there involved for those of you who want to take me to task already over this) and is known to circulate in Asia, Africa and the pacific also.
How do we prevent mosquitoes from breeding?
First the battle starts from the environment. Mosquitoes need a place to lay eggs so they can muster the right army to wreck havoc. So deprive them of a breeding camp. Who would know the conditions necessary for a terrorist camp to be set up and make their homes or environment, the right one for that? Nobody…in their right minds at least 😀
So, if you love flowers…indulge. But you know the big flower pots with live plants that you’ve got to water everyday? Go easy on the watering. I had a daily once who tried to do a week’s work in one day and so would fill the flower pot almost up to the brim…just so she didn’t have to do it the next day! Well, before too long, my house became a cesspot of mosquitoes of all shades, shapes and sizes. They could not believe their luck that such a conducive home could be prepared for them in such a lovely (even if I say so myself :)) environment! So, as practicable as possible, leave the flower pots that have to be watered outside and try not to do a week’s worth of watering in a day 😀
Old (or new) tyres left lying around are also great homes for mosqitoes.
If you have to store water inside your house, in buckets and basins, be sure to get covers for them. They are fantastic breeding places for the mosquitoes.
If you’ve got a bathroom with a blocked drain, please sort it out. The water that accumulates there is a good home for these undesirables. As you approach the water, you would see them rise as a swarm…Disgusting!!!
Outside, clear out gutters, mow the lawn or failing that just cut the grasses. Get a fumigator to do the needful every once in a while, within and outside the house. Put nets on the windows and ensure that this is re-enforced with insecticide sprays as needed. Get the children especially those under 5 and pregnant women to sleep under mosquito nets. These nets should be re-treated with insecticides every 6 months or 5 years depending on the type. If you’ve got girly girls, you can actually design a four poster bed and use the net as a canopy! That will make it seem more fun and get them to readily want to use it. For the boys….weeellll, let’s hear your bright ideas on that one:D
If you have to go out in the evenings, depending on whether you will be out in mosquito infested areas, wear protective clothing that cover arms and legs, preferably in light colours. Mosquitoes love dark colours and the dark….no wonder their deeds are evil :D. Insect repellent creams used on exposed areas are also not a bad idea.
The good news is that the virus requires no specific treatment as symptoms are mild. However, there are very strong indications that pregnant mothers who are infected by the virus give birth to babies with abnormally small heads associated with incomplete brain development.
For more on Zika virus, please read http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
So, stay safe people and let’s all kick mosquitoes out of…the world! Lassa fever is also still very much in the news. Remember your hygiene and stay clrea of rats.
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Have a good night, y’all 😀