World Mosquito Day, 2021 By Dr Prof Dibyendu Mukherjee, Internal medicine and Rheumatologist, Fortis Anandpur Kolkata

News Desk, News Nation 360: In 1895, Sir Ronald Ross from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine returned to India to prove that mosquitoes are related to malaria propagation. At that time, the Indian Medical Service (IMS) decided to halt his work and move him to a malaria-free area in Rajasthan. He was ready to present his resignation, but his associates helped him continue his quest by persuading the IMS to appoint him on special duty of investigating malaria and kala-azar. On August 20, 1897, in Secunderabad, Ronald Ross made a milestone discovery that the Anopheles mosquitoes are indeed responsible for transmitting the life-threatening Malaria parasite in humans. He even received a Nobel Prize in Medicine for the work. Then, the world observes Mosquito Day on August 20, intending to spread more awareness, make the general public alert at large, and recognise the healthcare workers’ efforts. This year in 2021, the theme for the day is to - reach the zero malaria target. With the monsoon season, rise in the menace caused by mosquitoes. These organisms act as the vector responsible for the transmission of diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika JE Japanese Encephalitis, virus, etc. Symptoms of some vector-borne diseases like Malaria - High fever-Once a day complete remission between spikes, Chills and sweating, Muscle pain, Diarrhoea, Nausea or vomiting, Headache, Mental confusion and paleness. Dengue - High fever, fatigue, Sweating, Abdominal, eye, joint, and muscle pain, loss of appetite, weakness, nausea or vomiting, Headache, retro-orbital, Rash or red spots, Hypertension. Chikungunya - Fever, Chills, Joint and muscle pain, Persistent joint pain & swelling, Fatigue, Headache, Skin rash. In the case of pregnant women, the zika virus causes a congenital disability in the unborn child known as microcephaly. A small puddle of stagnant water, open dirty or clogged gutters, air condition drip trays, old tyres, trash baskets, birdbaths, unclean swimming pools can form the perfect environment for mosquitoes to breed. Some ways to prevent the diseases are 1) Keeping home and surroundings clean, and free from stagnant water, 2) use garlic spray or burn camphor indoors to keep mosquitoes away, 3) Use a repellant and wear full-sleeved clothes, especially if somebody travelling to a mosquito-infested area, 4) Use mosquito nets and 5) Maintain proper hygiene and consume fresh homecooked food. It is best to receive a medical consult from a physician if any symptoms arise. Delay and indulging in self-medication will only lead to further complications. Propagating awareness and making individuals of a vicinity conscious of cleanliness can genuinely help eradicate these health hazards. 

Report : Anustup Kundu