Every year, there is an outbreak of Dengue, in New Delhi and northern India. The Municipal Authorities assure, every year that the situation is in control but every year many persons lose their life. What is wrong with the approach of municipal authorities. Are they doing enough or they do not know what to do. No doubt, in India it is not epidemic as in many other countries like Singapore and Thailand etc. About three billion people are affected by dengue all over world. Can this be a reason for not dealing with problem efficiently. It appears that it is a time to approach the problem from a different perspective. First a background about Dengue.
What is Dengue:
Symptoms of Dengue reflect as a fever. Other symptoms include headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. It is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or fall in blood platelet where dangerously low blood pressure manifest into heart failure resulting death. (For more see: Wikipedia dot com)
Causes of Dengue:
There is a single cause. Mosquito bite. The other cause is infection from ailing person i.e. by sharing serological or other fluids or by blood transfusion. The most widespread cause is mosquito bite from the family of mosquito Aedes aegypti.This mosquito has a unique pattern. It prefers to live near human habitat and prefers human blood. It does not bite in the night and feeds in twilight zone i.e. early morning and evening. To stay near human habitat it breeds by delivering eggs in stagnant water which after two (in warm temperature) to seven days (in cooler temperature) turn into larva than pupae and then adult.
Prevention of dengue fever
Presently there is no direct treatment for dengue except supporting the patient by treating the symptoms. Prevention is the only cure. There are three methods employed for prevention:
1. Mosquito control by either larval control or adult mosquito control.
2. Reduce mosquito bites, especially during daylight hours.
3. Vaccination which is under research.
New preventive solution
So far we have done two things for prevention, while research is going on for others. First repellent to kill adult mosquito and secondly to remove or empty all places filled with stagnant water. It has worked but one brief spell of rain spoils all the efforts.
Lure and hunt.
Humans have survived on this plant not because they were fittest but because they are smartest i.e. most cunning. We are required to be cunning with mosquito. Suggestion is simple. Instead of removing the vessels filled with water provide the mosquito with its breeding ground. Keep a vessel filled with water on the roof, under some object, at dark and isolated corner. Let it come and breed in the night. Just empty the vessel every day. Lure and hunt. As we did with all animals and led to their extinction.
© Sandeep Bhalla