This year will see a rise in mosquito-borne dengue fever cases, so precautions to keep mosquito populations down are going to be more necessary than in past years, the World Health Organization has warned.
The most important strategy to combat mosquitoes is to hit them where they breed. That includes some common-sense strategies, like mixing salad oil in water-filled vases, filling tree holes in the garden with sand and making sure to keep garbage cleaned up, according to WHO.
“If mosquitoes are seen, commercial insecticide spray should be applied religiously every early morning on the preferred mosquito resting sites, such as towels, dark furniture, curtains, shoes, book shelves, wardrobes, etc,” according to WHO, which does not recommend using pest control companies because of the infrequency of their visits. Mosquito nets in the home also help reduce the odds of being bitten by malaria- or dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Dengue is carried by the Aedes aegypty mosquito, which is distinguished by the black and white stripes on its abdomen. The disease is known for creating “bone-breaking” joint pain and a rash, with symptoms appearing between three and 14 days after the bite.
Dengue is especially hard on children, who can die from dengue shock syndrome. Urban children who suffer a high fever this wet season should be checked by a physician for dengue, WHO said.
The disease affects urban populations in Cambodia in three-year cycles. Malaria, on the other hand, affects rural populations near forests or rubber plantations, and is prevalent year round, every year. It is the nation’s No 1 killer of adults.