Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya Are Here Amid Spike In COVID Cases; What Can Be Done?
New Delhi: Like every year, the cases of vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya are on the rise in several states of the country even while India is fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Identifying symptoms of vector-borne diseases, while ruling out COVID-19 has become a challenge for the medical fraternity.
What are vectors?
Vectors are small organisms such as mosquitoes, bugs, and ticks that can carry a disease from person to person and place to place. Disease such as malaria, dengue, and chikungunya which can be spread by these vector bites is known as vector-borne disease.
Waterlogging in the monsoons is a perfect breeding condition for mosquitos, thus increasing the risk of its spread that becomes even higher in areas with hygiene issues.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is caused by the dengue virus. It is transmitted through the bites of Aedes mosquitoes. The people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75 per cent of people infected with dengue don’t show any symptoms, while 20 percent have mild symptoms and 5 per cent might develop severe symptoms, which can be life-threatening.
Caused by parasites that are spread among humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria is a life-threatening, yet preventable and curable, disease that accounted for close to 23 crore infections and about 4 lakh deaths in 2019.
Malaria is endemic to India, but the country has reported a significant drop in numbers in recent years. Citing the WHO World Malaria Report 2020, the Union health ministry had said in December last year that “India has contributed to the largest drop in cases region-wide, from approximately 20 million to about 6 million”. It added that malaria cases dropped by 71.8 per cent while deaths declined by 73.9 per cent between 2000 to 2019.
It’s a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. The mosquitoes which cause the infection bite during the day, usually just after sunrise and around sunset. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
- Keep your bodies covered with long-sleeve shirts and full pants.
- Apply EPA-approved mosquito repellent to avoid dengue infection from mosquito bites.
- If possible, apply fabric-friendly mosquito repellents.