Malaria - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
The disease is prevalent in subtropical and tropical countries like India, Vietnam, and Africa, where mosquito control is a big challenge. Once the infected mosquito bites the host human or animal, it injects the parasite into the host’s bloodstream. The parasite travels to the host’s liver, which becomes its breeding ground, where it matures. And gradually the body starts showing malaria symptoms. You can detect malaria through a simple blood test, which is essential to deciding the course of treatment. Recovery might be slow, and quarantine is advised. Signs and Symptoms of Malaria The signs and symptoms of malaria may vary from animals to humans. In humans, too, it varies in severity from young to old. The manifestation of malaria may occur within 610 to 15 days of exposure and sometimes as late as six months. The most common malaria symptoms include: Fever Shivering or chills A constant uneasy feeling Diarrhoea Headaches Rapid heart rate Increased breathing Underlying fatigue Muscle pain Joint pain Nausea and vomiting Pain in the abdomen Dry cough Malaria may manifest in some adults through intense bouts of chills and fevers, which may last for a few minutes or hours. This is quickly followed by extreme sweating when the fever subsides. In medical terms, this is a classic malaria symptom, also known as paroxysm. Such cyclic manifestation may not be seen in all patients. In children, the symptoms are mostly restricted to high fever, dry caught, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Initial Signs of Malaria In the early days of exposure, you may feel that the signs and symptoms of malaria are similar to other conditions like a viral infection, gastroenteritis, or sepsis. The symptoms may include: Headache High fever Joint pain Vomiting Hemolytic anaemia Jaundice Blood in the urine Convulsions Types of Malaria and their Symptoms According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), you can classify malaria as severe or uncomplicated. It is declared severe if one or more of the following malaria symptoms appear: Inability to eat Very low blood pressure (<70 in adults and <50 in children) Decreased consciousness Difficulty in breathing Pulmonary oedema Haemoglobin <50g/L Circulatory shock Lactate levels >5 mmol/L Parasite level in the blood >100K/μL In extremely severe cases, the patient may present neurological symptoms, including coma. Such cases are called cerebral malaria. Causes of Malaria Malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite of the plasmodium group. As discussed, the parasite is injected through a mosquito bite in humans and animals. The following steps explain the cycle of parasite transmission that causes malaria. The female Anopheles mosquito bites an infected host and becomes infected with the parasite. This mosquito then bites another host, transmitting the parasite into the host’s body. The parasite enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver, which becomes its breeding ground to mature and reproduce for about a year. Once the parasites mature, they leave the liver and attack the red blood cells. Once in the red blood cells, the parasite begins to affect the host’s immunity, which manifests the signs and symptoms of malaria. The entire cycle is repeated if an uninfected mosquito bites this infected person at this juncture. Other Ways of Malaria Transmission There are a few other ways in which you can contract malaria. The infection can be transmitted: From a pregnant mother to an unborn child Through blood transfusions Sharing used needles Living or visiting an area or region where the disease is prevalent also increases your chances of contracting malaria. The most popular regions in the world that are notoriously famous for the prevalence of malaria are: Southeast Asia South Asia Pacific Islands Central America Northern South America Sub-Saharan Africa While there are preventive measures in place that the local governments ensure, the inherent climate is a potent factor in the spread of the disease. Those who are at a greater risk of contracting malaria are: Infants Young children Older adults Pregnant women People travelling from areas with no prevalence of malaria Recurrent Malaria Malaria symptoms can come back even after a prolonged period of non-recurrence. Based on the cause, recurrent malaria may be classified into three types. Types of Recurrent Malaria and their Symptoms Recrudescence Malaria: Often, the parasite may survive in the blood due to ineffective or inadequate treatment. The patient may experience a long symptom-free period post the first occurrence. And the disease may still come back after a while. Relapse: Sometimes, the parasites may have been effectively eliminated from the body through the proper treatment. But remnants may have survived as dormant hypnozoites in the liver cells. A relapse will typically occur within 2 weeks to 10 months 8 to 24 weeks of the first occurrence of malaria. Reinfection: As the name suggests, reinfection simply means that the host gets reinfected with a new malaria parasite. This may happen even after the earlier parasite is eliminated from the body. Diagnosis of Malaria The nature of malaria symptoms is non-specific. This makes it difficult for any particular test to pinpoint the result. The diagnosis is primarily based on initial signs and symptoms of malaria, which are then confirmed with the help of a parasitological test. The diagnosis is relatively more straightforward in regions where malaria is high. In fact, according to WHO protocol, any person presenting symptoms of fevers and chills will be first quarantined for malaria. Other factors that are considered for diagnosing malaria include: Children with any signs of anaemia - pale palms or low haemoglobin Pregnant women with low blood pressure In regions with a prevalence of malaria, WHO has recommendations and guidelines for diagnosing the disease. Only those with possible exposure to malaria-prone areas or any unexplained fever need to be tested. Test Procedure for Detecting Malaria A microscopic examination of blood films or an antigen-based RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) is the standard procedure for confirming the presence of the malaria parasite in the blood. Microscopy is considered the gold standard test procedure for implementing this test. Here, Giemsa-stained blood is examined under a light microscope, and the presence of the parasite is confirmed or ruled out. The test is confirmed positive only when there is a minimum presence of apx. 5-10100 parasites per μL of blood. This is the minimum requirement to confirm symptomatic infection. This procedure is resource-intensive and requires trained personnel and a proper laboratory setup. On the other hand rapid antigen tests are easy to do There may be places where microscopy is not the go-to for testing malaria. The resources might simply be unavailable. In such cases, a rapid antigen test may suffice to detect the presence of parasite proteins through a finger stick blood sample. At MHL through a careful selection of kits available in market both the important species of malaria are detected by this technique i.e., P. falciparum and P. vivaxThe HRP2 is the most common quick antigen test kit that is used for this kind of procedure. Other tests like serological tests are still used to detect the presence of antibodies against the malaria virus. But they are insufficient to diagnose signs of malaria. Other options include the relatively expensive nucleic acid amplification test. But they are not common. Metropolis healthcare ltd. also offers cutting edge tests like comprehensive fever panel by multiplex PCR which can detect all species of malaria, salmonella (typhoid), chikungunya, dengue, leptospira, zika virus, west nile fever which may co-occur with malaria during the monsoon season. This test is done through blood sample and is of great help in diagnosing fever during monsoon season Treatment for Malaria You may be prescribed antimalarial medications depending on the type and severity of malaria. Common medicines are prescribed for the fever but are not enough to cure malaria. Treating Uncomplicated Malaria Oral medications like artemisinin drugs are most effective for treating uncomplicated malaria. ACT or Artemisinin-Combination Therapy is the most popular way of treating this type of malaria and has proven to be 90% effective. Some deciding factors about the course of treatment for malaria include: Age of the patient Pregnancy Type of malaria Severity of the symptoms One must consult his doctor before taking any treatment for malaria. Common Medications for Treating Uncomplicated Malaria Listed below are some of the most common drugs prescribed by doctors to treat malaria symptoms - Chloroquine Phosphate: Chloroquine was the obvious choice for treating parasites until about a few years ago. But there are increased incidences of drug resistance, because of which it is no longer the most effective. ACT (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies): ACT is the most effective and popular choice for treating the malaria parasite. It is also effective against the chloroquine-resistant malaria parasite. Other common medications for treating signs of malaria include Malarone (atovaquone-proguanil), Primaquine Phosphate, etc. Treating Severe Malaria Best done in a critical care unit (CCU), the typical steps in this kind of treatment include: Managing a very high fever Monitoring laboured breathing Managing low blood sugar and potassium Typically, the quinine loading dose is administered to reduce the fever and slowly eliminate the parasite from the body. Treating Cerebral Malaria Malaria with the worst neurological symptoms, including coma, is called cerebral malaria. Usually, clinicians and medical practitioners must determine the cause of the coma to determine the course of treatment. If this is unclear, the comatose condition may be attributed to other locally prevalent causes of encephalopathy. But if the case is registered in an area with a high malaria prevalence, the treatment for the same can be started immediately. The management of cerebral malaria follows a few standard steps : Monitor the vitals of the patient every two hours. Patients should not be left on a wet bed. The patient should be aided with a sterile urethral catheter to help in urination. A sterile nasogastric tube has to be inserted to aspirate the stomach. If convulsions occur, an IV injection of benzodiazepine must be administered. A blood transfusion may be helpful in some cases. Prevention of Malaria As with most other diseases, malaria is very much preventable. You can resort to easy and effective measures to prevent the contraction of the disease. A few simple ways to do this include: Cover your skin if you are in an area prone to malaria. Use a mosquito repellant or a mosquito net while sleeping (the Anopheles mosquito is most active between dusk and dawn). Use an apparel roll-on to repel mosquitoes. Don't let water accumulate in spaces like open drainage or sewage. Clear overgrowth from your neighbourhood. If you belong to a place with little or no incidence of malaria, make sure to carry preventive medicine if you travel to a place with a high incidence. You may also consult a doctor who can administer preventive malaria drugs before you travel to these places. Malaria is very much preventable and curable. Along with the proper treatment and timely diagnosis, a little public awareness can also go a long way in tackling this deadly parasite with appropriate treatment and timely diagnosis.
15 Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Introduction It is a misconception that mosquitoes thrive only in tropical, warm environments. They can also survive in temperate and colder regions during summer and spring. It is challenging to avoid mosquito bites. Here are some 15 tips to prevent mosquito bites while sleeping. Mosquito bites are frequent during the warm monsoon season, they also make their presence felt during winter. Mosquito bites cause red, itchy bumps on the skin and can even cause life-threatening diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya and zika. Therefore, knowing how to prevent mosquito bites effectively is vital. 1. Steer Clear of Mosquito Habitats Mosquitoes require still, stagnant water to lay their eggs. Young mosquitoes can hatch and grow in anything that holds even a small amount of water. Therefore, clearing stagnant water and trash is necessary, especially during monsoon season. Remove old tyres as they are considered prime mosquito nurseries. Drill holes in them to let water drain out. Do not pile up on cups, cans, empty bottles and other forms of trash. Discard trash responsibly. Empty children’s buckets and pools after use. Eliminate still water in plastic covers, gutters, toys and other containers that are great mosquito havens. Change and empty water in fountains, bird baths, rain barrels, wading pools and potted plant trays at least once during the week, thus destroying potential mosquito breeding grounds. Fill temporary water pools with dirt. Treat and circulate water in swimming pools. 2. Dress Wisely Deep-coloured clothing, like deep blue, red and black, stands out and attracts bugs. Therefore, wear light-coloured clothes, especially when you head outdoors. When mosquitoes are overly active in the evening, wear full-sleeve shirts, socks and long, preferably loose pants. Always tuck the pants under the socks or shoes so that no surface area on the body remains open. 3. Opt for Woven Clothing Breathable fabrics with tight weaves, like nylon, cotton, and denim, are difficult for mosquitoes to penetrate. On the other hand, they can easily bite through lighter and thinner fabrics like spandex. So, always choose tightly woven fabrics. Also, choose clothes pretreated with the insecticide permethrin if you reside in a mosquito-prone region. Mosquitoes that land on this kind of clothing fly off and eventually die. 4. Use Mosquito Repellents You can use different mosquito repellent lotions, sprays and creams that effectively ward off mosquitoes. These are infused with chemicals and herbal oils that keep mosquitoes at bay with their fragrance. However, choosing the right repellent is very important here. AAP or the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends DEET repellents that protect against West Nile virus, Zika virus and Lyme disease. Other effective mosquito repellents contain PMD, IR3535 insecticide or picaridin, which are considered safe when used as instructed. Check for skin irritations when choosing mosquito repellents, especially for children and pregnant women. Avoid spraying the content around the mouth and eyes. Use them on the feet, ankles, wrists and lower legs- these are the thin-skinned areas of the body where mosquitoes usually bite. 5. Use Mosquito Nets How do we prevent mosquito bites while sleeping? By using mosquito nets! They are specifically useful in humid and warm places throughout the year and create a physical barrier that protects from mosquito bites while sleeping. Well-fitted screens on windows and doors are also good to keep mosquitoes away from entering your home or other premises. But then you must ensure they are repaired from time to time. Check for holes large enough for insects to come through. Patch up all such holes on your window or door screen. 6. Safeguard the Backyard Use a mosquito lantern with a permethrin release function in your backyard, especially if it is semi-enclosed or features a pool with two to three walls. Do not choose torches, lanterns and citronella candles, as even the slightest breeze can blow away the active ingredients in these products. You can depend on wind power to ward off mosquitoes from open areas surrounding your premises. Another option is to set up a big box fan in the yard. Once the air speed of the fan reaches more than 1 mile per hour, mosquitoes will find it challenging to fly. Also, fill up your home and garden with mosquito-repellent plants like citronella, feverfew and lavender. 7. Always Have Mosquito Dunks Handy Mosquito dunks are small, doughnut-shaped tablets that release bacteria known to kill mosquito larvae. The bacteria do not harm plants, animals and humans and are thus the perfect solution for homeowners who want to know how to prevent mosquito bites. These small dunks are also effective in potentially infected regions like rain barrels, fish ponds and bird baths. Therefore, you must always have them handy. 8. Stay Indoors During Dawn and Dusk Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes that cause dangerous infections are most prevalent during dusk and dawn, primarily dusk. Therefore, you must avoid the outdoors as much as possible during these times of the day. 9. Keep the Surrounding Landscape Clean Well-trimmed shrubs and trees improve the air circulation of a property. Increased airflow pushes the mosquitoes out of the area. 10. Use Bug Zappers Bug zappers or mosquito traps use UV light and carbon dioxide to attract and kill mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to the blue glow of these traps. Just one of these electronic mosquito killers from a good brand offers half an acre of coverage. 11. Burn Neem Leaves and Repellent Oils Looking for a budget-friendly way to prevent mosquito bites? Get some neem leaves from the backyard and burn them safely at the entrance of your house or other mosquito-prone areas. This effectively purifies the surroundings as mosquitoes cannot bear the smell of burning neem leaves. You can also use affordable repellent coils that burn for seven hours and release a smoke-containing pyrethroid. This serves as a spatial repellent for mosquitoes and even other insects. 12. Say No to Scented Products Research has proved that scented products, like lotions, shampoos, soaps, aromatic oils or perfumes, attract mosquitoes more. Thus, try to use such products less, or opt for products with a very light scent or no scent. 13. Use Yellow Lights in the Outdoors Replace outdoor illuminators with bright, yellow lights. These do not repel mosquitoes but usually attract fewer of them. 14. Limit Your Movement Activity and movement make you more apparent to the mosquitoes. When these bugs get closer to land, they sense body heat, indicating where blood is the closest to the surface. Hence, they know where to feed. More activity and movement will raise your skin temperature, thus making you stand out easily. 15. Avoid Alcohol Studies show that consuming alcohol also makes people attractive to mosquitoes. This is because alcohol increases the blood flow to the skin and the metabolic rate. The latter boosts CO2 production, which helps the mosquitoes find their food sources faster and make you the centre of their attacks. Conclusion Mosquito bites do not cause any harm and resolve themselves after a few hours. Nevertheless, they can be annoying, itchy and sore in their appearance. Follow the tips above to eliminate those red, swollen bumps on your skin faster and more effectively.
Widal Test - Introduction, Principle and Procedure
A Widal test meaning is a sersology blood test that helps detect typhoid or enteric fever in the body. This test was first conducted in 1896 by Georges Ferdinand Widal and was named after him. The Widal test is an advanced way to check for antibodies that your body makes against the salmonella bacteria that causes typhoid fever. It looks for O and H antibodies in a patient’s sample blood (serum). This test helps detect life-threatening illnesses like typhoid fever. However, interpreting the Widal test is important to arrive at the correct results. Keep reading this blog to understand the meaning of the Widal test, its principle, procedure, and test result interpretation. Typhoid Fever and Widal Test Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is a severe illness caused by salmonella bacteria. This bacteria affects your digestive system after you consume food or water contaminated with faecal material. A person with typhoid fever will experience symptoms like fatigue, high fever, headache, diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal pain, weight loss, and red spots. It is crucial to detect and treat typhoid fever as soon as possible to prevent further complications like severe intestinal bleeding or perforation. There are various tests available to detect typhoid fever, such as stool culture, bone marrow, etc. One such test is the Widal test, which detects the presence of antibodies that your body makes against salmonella bacteria during typhoid. The bacteria that causes typhoid fever is Salmonella bacteria. It can spread from person to person or from consuming contaminated food. The bacteria are of two types: Salmonella Typhi, also known as S. Typhi, Salmonella Paratyphi, which is also known as S. Paratyphi Now, the bacteria S. Typhi has two antigens named: S. Typhi O (TO), primary antigen S. Typhi H (TH), secondary antigen On the other hand, the bacteria S. Paratyphi has the following two antigens: S. Paratyphi A S. Paratyphi B To understand and interpret the Widal test reports, we will discuss these values later in this blog to understand and interpret the Widal test reports. Principle of Widal Test When you consume food contaminated with salmonella bacteria, it enters your body in the form of antigens. After reaching your digestive system, your immunity creates antibodies against those antigens. As a result, antigens agglutinate (react), and typhoid fever is detected. This agglutination test detects the antibodies your body has made in response to a particular bacteria or antigen. If you have typhoid fever, your sera (blood) will possess antibodies that will react and agglutinate salmonella antigens in an agglutination test. The main Widal test principle is that if a particular antibody is present in the serum, it will react with a specific antigen and show visible clumping on the test card. The following step of this test measures the titre of the positive antigen: Preparation of Widal Test Slide Widal Test To prepare for a Widal test, we would require the following objects: Patient’s serum Pipette (lab tool) Serum S. Antigen ( O, H, AH, BH) Slide Mix Stick Stopwatch You will also need reagents to detect antigens like O Ag (somatic or surface Ag), H Ag (flagella), AH Ag, BH Ag, etc. The Widal test procedure is carried out in two steps: Qualitative Widal Test For this test, you will use a slide with 6 reaction circles, marked as O, H, AH, BH, PC and NC. To begin with, Put one drop of the patient’s serum in four reaction circles, i.e., O, H, AH, BH. Add one drop of positive control in the PC circle and one in the NC circle. Next, add one drop of O antigen in the O circle, P antigen in the P circle, AH antigen in the AH circle, and BH antigen in the BH circle, respectively. Add any antigen, i.e., O, H, AH, BH in both PC and NC. Next, mix the serum and antigen in each circle properly so that the mixture doesn’t go out of the circle and touch the slide. Also, one mixture should not mix with another, as it can influence the test results. Finally, rotate the slide in a slow circular motion to ensure a proper mixture of serum and reagent. Once everything is done, you can see the results. If the test is positive, the test will be similar to the PC (+ve control circle), and if it’s negative, it will be similar to NC (-ve control circle). In other words, if there is any agglutination, the test results will be positive and vice versa. Now, if the test results are positive, the next stage will involve a quantitative test. To confirm the diagnosis of typhoid fever, we will take the reagent of the antigen that is positive. For example, if O was positive in the qualitative test, we will take the O reagent in the quantitative test. In most cases, O and H, i.e., S. Typhi are used to confirm the diagnosis. Only a few people have their AH or BH positive during a qualitative test. 2. A quantitative Widal test: It is a semi-procedure test, which means you will check for O if O is positive, H if H is positive, and both if both are positive. To perform this test, follow these steps: Use a different slide with 8 circles: four for O antigen and four for H. Now, if O was positive in the last test, put 5 ul patient’s serum in the 1st O circle, 10 ul in the 2nd, 20 ul in the 3rd, and 40 ul in the 4th circle horizontally. In the same way, put one drop of the specific reagent in all four circles. To report, mark the values from the right side. Mark 1:40 on the fourth circle, 1: 80 on the 3rd circle, 1:160 on the 2nd, and 1:320 on the 1st circle. Interpretation of Widal Test-Slide Method After mixing the serum and reagent properly and rotating the slide, wait for the results to show. The result will be positive if it shows positive in more than 100 in the O circle and 200 in the case of H. In other words, it is a positive Widal test if the titre is above 100 in O and 200 in H. However, the results can be negative due to antibiotics, malaria, dengue, or the fever has affected you for more than a few days, etc. You can interpret your test results in the following ways: Negative if S. Typhi is smaller than or equal to 1:80 and positive if S. Typhi is more than or equal to 1:160. Negative if S. Paratyphi is smaller than or equal to 1:80 and positive if S. Paratyphi is more than or equal to 1:160. If S. Typhi O is positive, then you have an active fever. However, in the case of positive S. Typhi H, the fever is a past infection. Moreover, the Widal test normal range is when the titre is equal to or below 1:80 in both O and H antigens. Tube Widal Test Apart from qualitative and quantitative Widal tests, there is another test method; the standard tube method. Here, eight tubes are taken, diluted and observed. The first test can screen for typhoid fever; however, a tube Widal test effectively confirms a fever. Originally, two types of tubes were used to detect typhoid fever: Dreyer’s tube for H agglutination Felix tube for O agglutination Nowadays, 3 x 0.5 ml Kahn tubes are used for both O and H agglutination. Process of Standard Tube Method: To prepare for a Widal test, we would require the following objects: Patient’s serum O, H, AH and BH Antigens Normal Saline Pipette Test Tube Rack Test Tubes Water Bath Before beginning this test, it is essential to note that the tube method is a dilution technique that has to be done correctly. Let’s understand this test in a simpler language. First, take nine tubes and arrange them in the rack. In the case of O, mark the tubes in numbers from 1 to 9. Add and mix 0.1 ml normal saline and 0.9 ml serum in the first test tube. On the other hand, add 0.5 normal salines to each remaining tube. Next, take 0.5 ml from the 1st tube and add in the second. This will result in 0.5 ml remaining solution in test tube 1 and 1 ml in test tube 2nd. Repeat this process i.e., take 0.5 ml from the last tube and add it to the next tube to make it 1 ml. With the 8th tube, take 0.5 ml and keep that in another separate tube. Mix all the tubes properly. This will give us primary serial dilution of all the tubes from 1st to 8th as 1:10, 1:20, 1:40, 1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640, and 1:1280, respectively. Take a new (9th) test tube and add positive control. Next, add 0.5 ml of respective antigen (O, H, AH, BH) in all eight tubes. This will make the final volume of each tube 1 ml. After adding a reagent to all the tubes, we will have the final serial dilution of all the tubes from 1st to 8th as 1:20, 1:40, 1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640, 1:1280, 1:2580. Now, mix well, cover and incubate the tubes at 37° C overnight (18 to 24 hours). Interpretation of Widal Test-Tube Method If you have typhoid fever and there is some agglutination, you will see that the 9th tube (positive control) will look similar to one of the eight other tubes. If there is no enteric fever, there will be no change in the normal range of the eight tubes and widal test. If the tube that showed agglutination has a titre of more than 1:100 in case of O and 1: 200 in H, it will be widal test positive (active infection). Other than this, rest titers are considered the normal range of a widal test. Limitations of Widal Test No doubt, the widal test is a quick and effective way to diagnose typhoid fever, but it has some limitations as well, including: The results of the Widal test can be falsely positive in the case of past vaccination or S. Typhi infection. The Widal test is time-consuming; until a diagnosis is made, it becomes too late to start the treatment. A widal test can not distinguish between a patient's past infection, current infection, or a S. Typhi vaccination. The test results can be falsely positive in typhus, acute falciparum malaria, chronic liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, nephrotic syndrome and myelomatosis. Because so many factors can influence the test results, it is better to not just depend on this test for typhoid diagnosis. However, it is always best to choose trustable labs regarding screening. A delay or ineffective screening can cause a delay in the treatment. Price of Widal Test A widal test is a quick and affordable test which is mostly used in developing countries where typhoid fevers are prevalent. The widal test cost can differ based on location, lab centre and other criteria. With Metropolis Labs, the cost of the widal test is just xxx. Our website features allow you to track your sample, download reports, book a home visit, upload prescriptions, etc. Contact metropolis labs today to book a widal test and get results quickly. Conclusion A Widal test is a quick procedure to diagnose typhoid fever or enteric fever. It only requires a patient's serum and some reagents to detect this fever. However, because different factors can influence the test results, it is always best to perform this test one week after the infection, following proper instructions. If you have typhoid fever or are experiencing its symptoms, you can book a Widal test today.
What Is Chikungunya? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
Introduction Chikungunya fever (CHIK) is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected female mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, and Aedes albopictus. The causative organism is an RNA virus of the alphavirus genus, the Togaviriade family. The name chikungunya is derived from a Kimakonde language word meaning "to become contorted" or "to walk bent over," describing the stooped appearance of those affected with joint pain. Night-time biting mosquitoes are not significant vectors for Chikungunya. In this disease, infection results in a sudden onset of fever lasting two to twelve days and joint pain with or without swelling of small joints. The joint pain is often very serious, but it usually lasts only a few days or weeks. Sometimes, the joint pain may persist for several months. Some patients also develop a rash. In this health guide, we will discuss what Chikungunya is and its symptoms, how it is transmitted, the diagnosis, and how to prevent the disease. What are the symptoms of Chikungunya? The incubation period for Chikungunya is normally three to seven days. The general symptoms are joint pain and fever. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Symptoms of this disease usually begin 2 to 12 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Below are the most common symptoms: Fever: After some time, a person with Chikungunya will develop a high fever, lasting for two to 12 days. The fever will generally go away on its own, without any treatment. If you are worried about the fever, you can visit a doctor, who may prescribe medication to help reduce the fever. Joint pain: Severe and incapacitating, often involving multiple joints. The pain can last for several weeks and, in some cases, months. Some people will experience long-term joint pain, even after the fever has subsided. Headache: A general feeling of pain or pressure in the head can be one of the symptoms of Chikungunya. Always consult a medical practitioner if you experience severe headaches because they could signify a more serious condition. Muscle pain: Muscle aches and pains are other common symptoms of Chikungunya. The pain is often felt in the arms and legs, making it difficult to move around. In order to relieve the pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medication suggested by your doctor. Joint swelling: Swelling of the joints is another symptom of Chikungunya. The swelling is usually seen in the hands, wrists, and feet. Rash: Usually starts on day two or three of the illness. The rash is often itchy and can spread over the entire body. In some cases, the rash may be accompanied by small blisters. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. You should always consult the problem with a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Early treatment and diagnosis are important to prevent serious complications. There is no specific treatment for Chikungunya, but the symptoms can be treated with pain relievers and fever-reducing medicines. What are the Causes Of Chikungunya Cause? There can be many causes of Chikungunya. It is caused by the chikungunya virus, but the most common one is infection by the chikungunya virus transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. People who live in or travel to areas where the virus is present can become infected if they are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. The virus is then transmitted to the person’s bloodstream, where it can cause fever, joint pain, and other symptoms. Below are some of the most general causes of Chikungunya. Infection by the chikungunya virus: The chikungunya virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and it can cause fever, joint pain, and rash. In some cases, Chikungunya can also lead to more serious complications such as pneumonia or meningitis. Other causes: There are other viruses that can cause chikungunya-like symptoms, such as dengue fever virus and Zika virus. In addition, certain medications (such as quinine) can also cause chikungunya-like symptoms. Treatment for Chikungunya typically involves relieving symptoms and supporting the immune system. Till now, there is no specific cure or solution for the virus, so prevention is the best way to protect against it. To reduce your risk of Chikungunya, you can take steps to avoid mosquito bites and limit your exposure to areas where the virus is present. Is Chikungunya deadly? In most cases, this infection is not fatal, and those who get infected often recover on their own. Also, someone who has once contracted Chikungunya is unlikely to become infected again. It is essential to see a doctor as soon as the first symptoms appear to rule out other diseases that might have similar symptoms but require different treatments, such as dengue fever. Although not usually fatal, Chikungunya causes painful and debilitating symptoms. Some patients experience unbearable joint pain for months and even years after infection. In some cases, pain and swelling can lead to disability. Children, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions (such as hypotension or heart disease) are most susceptible to infection. If Chikungunya strikes such a vulnerable person, it can lead to life-threatening complications. Chikungunya Prevention Most healthy adults infected with this virus do not require hospitalization. But the pain during illness can be so severe that patients must stay at home in bed for a week or even several weeks. In addition, patients need to drink enough liquids; otherwise, the fever can lead to dehydration. Often infected people are advised to sleep surrounded by mosquito nets and use other measures to prevent the spread of the disease. The infected need thorough care. Intense pain and intense heat can lead to weakness, dehydration, and sometimes other complications, especially if the patient has underlying medical conditions. It is especially important for the elderly and individuals with serious health problems to be under medical supervision, as they may develop breathing problems or other complications caused by fever and pain. Diagnosis of Chikungunya There are two common tests available for diagnosis of Chikungunya i.e., detection of antibodies and detection of viral RNA. Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. offer the following tests: Chikungunya IgM antibody and Chikungunya RNA detection by RTPCR. Detection of IgM antibodies is a screening test and a positive test should be confirmed by PCR. IgM antibodies rise in 3-4 days and may persist beyond 3 months. RTPCR is the test of choice as it detects infection earlyon and is diagnostic. Prevention and treatment of Chikungunya Prevention of Chikungunya starts with avoiding mosquito bites. The prevention can be done in the following ways: During "mosquito season" and when travelling to epidemically affected countries, use a variety of repellents, including products with DEET, Para methane diol, picaridin, IR3535, and lemon eucalyptus oil. All of the above can be quite effective, but be sure to follow the instructions on the package. Try to choose accommodation with mosquito nets on the windows or air conditioning when travelling. You can install mosquito nets on windows, doors, and above the bed for added protection. Wear long sleeves and trousers. If the skin is covered as much as possible with clothes, you will be less attractive to mosquitoes. In addition, their proboscis passes through clothes with difficulty, if at all. Read about Chikungunya before you travel. Find out in advance when to take extra precautions. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can learn more about where this infection occurs and its epidemics. If you are travelling to areas where Chikungunya is common, use additional methods to prevent mosquito bites. For example, ensure the hotel has mosquito nets or air conditioners and gets plenty of quality repellents. If you're going to be outdoors, use coils, sprays, insect repellants, citronella candles, and mosquito traps. Use all possible protection methods simultaneously, as any one will always be insufficient. Be especially vigilant during daytime activities. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the two mosquito species most commonly spreading Chikungunya and are most active during the day. Protect babies and young children. If you are traveling or going outside with small children, take additional precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Dehydration is a common complication of Chikungunya. Therefore, it is essential to drink enough fluids when you have this infection. If you have a fever, drink plenty of fluids such as water, juice, and soup. You can also use an electrolyte solution to replace the lost fluids and minerals. If you have an underlying medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions. These conditions can complicate the course of Chikungunya and lead to serious complications. Is there a vaccine for Chikungunya? There is no such vaccine yet, and there is no specific treatment. However, visit a doctor at the first symptoms similar to Chikungunya. The hospital will help you manage your symptoms. You may need to be hospitalized if you have an underlying medical condition. Prevention of Chikungunya with mosquito control One of the most effective ways to prevent this infection is to reduce the number of mosquitoes and, consequently, their bites. To do this, you can do the following: Destroy standing water. Shallow pools, puddles, and buckets are great breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If water has collected in a flower pot or even in a bottle cap, it is better to pour it out so as not to give mosquitoes a chance to breed. Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors, so it is best to wear light colors when you are outdoors. Light colors reflect heat, so you will also be cooler, and it will be easier to spot mosquitoes if they land on your clothing. Reduce the amount of water near your home. Do you have bird drinkers or a pool? The moving water in the fountains does not attract mosquitoes, and the water in the pools, too, is properly and regularly cleaned. But bird shelves, rain barrels, and animal bowls can cause problems. So that mosquitoes do not want to lay their eggs in these places, you should regularly change the water in the drinkers and cover rain barrels so insects cannot get there. Use mosquito traps. The cornerstone in the fight against Chikungunya is to reduce the number of mosquitoes and their bites. One of the options for such a fight is mosquito traps. All traps work differently. Mosquito killers from Mosquito Magnet, for example, attract blood-sucking insects by emitting heated and moistened carbon dioxide and then suck the bloodsuckers into a mesh inside themselves, where the latter dry out and die. The traps are designed to mimic human breathing, which is where female mosquitoes fly. The more females are killed, the fewer bloodsuckers will be able to breed. The number of mosquitoes on the site will decrease significantly, especially if a sufficiently high impenetrable fence surrounds your yard. Unlike sprays and repellents, traps can work effectively in all weather conditions 24/7. Chikungunya is a serious disease that can affect a person's health for days, months, or even years. The pain that comes with this virus can be so intense that it can lead to serious conditions that can be life-threatening. Before travelling, learn more about Chikungunya epidemics and take timely measures to prevent them. The only truly effective method of protecting against Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases is to reduce the number of mosquitoes near your home. One solution to this problem is mosquito traps from Mosquito Magnet, and these devices work 24/7 to reduce the mosquito population on your property and protect you from disease. Conclusion After reading this article, you know what Chikungunya is, how it is transmitted, and what methods can be used to prevent it. Be sure to take all the necessary measures to protect yourself from this disease, and if you have any symptoms similar to Chikungunya, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. We have also told you about mosquito traps, which can help in the fight against Chikungunya. In some situations, mosquito traps are the only effective way to reduce the number of mosquitoes near your home and protect yourself from disease. Some people might say that mosquito traps are expensive, but when you compare the cost of a trap to the cost of treatment for Chikungunya, the traps are a bargain. So don't wait; get yourself a mosquito trap, and be sure to follow all the recommendations in this article to protect yourself from Chikungunya.
Typhoid Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid
Typhoid, also known as enteric fever, is a severe illness in some developing countries. It is caused after consuming water or food contaminated by the bacteria Salmonella. Typhoid can cause symptoms like fatigue, headache, high fever, diarrhoea or constipation, red spots, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Moreover, as the bacteria directly affects your digestive tract, paying attention to your immunity plays a vital role. Diet modification can not treat typhoid, but it affects the treatment quality and eases symptoms. Therefore, it is vital to pay close attention to your food intake to give some relief to your stomach and promote quick treatment. Let’s have a closer look at what food items you should eat and avoid during typhoid. Typhoid Fever in a Glance Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection that is caused due to the consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria (S. Typhi or S. Paratyphi). People who consume stagnant water, consume or cook food without hygiene, etc., have high chances of getting typhoid fever. Patients with typhoid fever face symptoms such as: Severe headache Fever Dehydration Diarrhoea or Constipation Red spots Abdominal pain, etc. If you face such symptoms, it is advised to consult a doctor and book a typhoid profile. He will suggest you go through one of the diagnosis tests like the widal test, blood culture test, typhidot test for IgM antibody to confirm the fever. The screening test will diagnose the bacteria that has affected your health and help your doctor choose a treatment plan. Importance of Typhoid Diet Chart Patients with typhoid fever face gastrointestinal issues, and the main focus of the typhoid diet is to ease digestive distress. It adds certain food items to give your body enough energy while eliminating other items that are difficult to digest. Most typhoid patients either eat bland food or eat anything available on the table. However, if a patient focuses on the food he intakes and avoids, his treatment becomes smooth and quick. Today, this blog focuses on typhoid diet plans, i.e., foods to add and avoid. Typhoid Diet A typhoid patient has an upset stomach, so his diet must be modified according to his current needs. At present, a typhoid patient needs a diet rich in carbs and proteins. Foods To Add Carbs-rich food items: During typhoid, you should increase the intake of food high in carbohydrates. Food items high in carbs give energy to your body while keeping your stomach happy. For this, add porridge, baked potato, and boiled rice in a semi-solid form to your diet, and your stomach will be able to digest it easily. High-calorie diet: A typhoid patient loses weight during the infection. To manage or prevent this weight loss, you should eat enough food items to match your calorie requirements. Taking enough calories in the form of food that is easily digestible reduces stomach distress. For example, you can add bananas, potatoes, bread, cereals, etc., to your diet. Plenty of fluids: Typhoid often results in severe dehydration. Patients with typhoid fever should intake plenty of fluids to give their bodies enough nutrients and maintain fluid balance. To stay hydrated, add lassi, lime juice, fruit juices, water-rich fruits, buttermilk, glucose water, coconut water, etc. Omega-3 fatty acids: Food rich in omega-3 helps reduce inflammation and bloating during typhoid fever. The typhoid diet chart should include foods rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. To add such food items, you can consume soya beans, eggs, nuts, etc. Dairy Products: Typhoid patients face protein deficiency during the fever. It is advised to consume dairy products like yoghurt, milk, etc., in the diet to get enough proteins. Yoghurt is a bifidobacteria that decreases bloating and eases bowel movements during typhoid fever. Apart from the above food items, some other foods are beneficial during typhoid fever. Here are some quick food-related tips below: Eat a maximum of semi-liquid food items during typhoid. These food items are easy to digest and relieve digestive distress. You can also consume highly nutritious soups such as vegetables, chicken, spinach, carrot, and mushroom. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water after it has been boiled or filtered. Add another healthy item, yellow daal, to your diet to get enough nutrients. Consume 4-5 small frequent meals instead of 2-3 big portion meals. You can consume boiled vegetables as they are easy to digest and highly nutritious. You can also consume herbal teas for hydration as they have antimicrobial properties. You can consume a mixture of yarrow, neem, and sage steeped in water. At last, you can add honey to your diet to meet sugar requirements in your body during typhoid. Its antimicrobial properties help ease the digestive system when consumed with warm water. That’s it. You need to note these things while you or someone you know has typhoid fever. Don’t forget these food items don’t act as a typhoid treatment but can affect its quality. Consuming the above food items will give your body enough energy, nutrients, carbs, and proteins whose levels are affected during typhoid fever. Now, let’s have a closer look at food items to avoid during the fever. Foods To Avoid Foods high in fibre: Avoid all the food items that are high in fibre as they are difficult to digest and put pressure on your digestive system. During typhoid, patients have an upset stomach and eating fibre-rich food items worsens it. Avoid raw fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Spicy foods: Say a big no-no to spicy food items during typhoid infection. Avoid all kinds of spicy food such as hot peppers, jalapeños, paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli, vinegar, etc., as they irritate the digestive system and increase inflammation. Oily and fried food: Avoid all types of fried and oily food during typhoid. These food items are difficult to digest and put pressure on your stomach. Eliminate chips, pakoras, frames, etc., from your diet. Certain vegetables: Some vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus cause gas and bloating in the stomach. It increases pressure on your stomach and affects your overall health. Dry Fruits: Dry fruits are healthy but have high fibre content. Eliminate dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios during typhoid to reduce pressure on your stomach. Apart from the above food items, it would help if you remembered a few tips during typhoid. Here are some more tips: Avoid butter and ghee as they are hard to digest. Avoid legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans during typhoid as they cause a gassy stomach. Eliminate food items with onion and garlic to reduce inflammation. Avoid or limit pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Say no to fatty foods such as mozzarella sticks, doughnuts, potato chips, fried chicken, onion rings, etc. If you are a typhoid patient, we can understand your cravings and how overwhelming it can get to eat just bland food for some time. However, on a serious note, it is vital to follow a strict diet so that food doesn’t worsen your condition. With some attention to diet during typhoid, you will not just feel good but also have a high chance to get better. If you aren’t yet convinced, here are some benefits Benefits of Typhoid Diet As mentioned earlier, the main focus of a typhoid diet is to ease digestive distress by adding and eliminating specific food items from your diet. Therefore, summarising the list of food items to add, remember to intake enough calories, consume carb-rich foods, eat bland and semi-solid food, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. The first thing to remember is to avoid eating fibre-rich foods as they put pressure on your digestive tract. Low fibre diets are also used to treat patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes bloating, diarrhoea and gas. Eating items that are your stomach’s best friends can give your body enough energy. However, it is crucial to understand that diet is part of lifestyle modification and not a complete typhoid treatment. Side Effects of Typhoid Diet A typhoid diet removes fibre, dry fruits and other nutritious items from your food. Following this diet for a certain period is okay until you completely recover. After that, however, it is advised to shift back to your normal diet, so your body returns to its normal food intake and digestion routine. Talk to your healthcare professional about when you can change your diet and shift back to normal. This way, your body will get the food that it needs. Finally, remember that a typhoid diet can not help treat or prevent typhoid fever, and it just focuses on easing an upset stomach. Conclusion Typhoid fever can become a life-threatening illness if it is not diagnosed, treated and managed on time. If you notice any unusual symptoms, book a consultation with a typhoid specialist. He will choose a treatment plan and also suggest some diet changes that play a vital role. Salmonella bacteria transfer from contaminated food or water and directly attack your stomach, i.e. digestive system. It affects your immunity and shows severe symptoms like headaches, red spots, diarrhoea, constipation, etc. In such situations, please pay close attention to the food you consume, as it can speed up or halt typhoid treatment. We hope this blog helped you understand all the food items you should eat and avoid during the fever. In conclusion, book a typhoid profile as soon as you notice any symptoms not to delay the treatment.
10 Natural Ingredients That Repel Mosquitoes
Do you love lounging in your yard while enjoying a barbecue party with your mates but hate the unwanted tiny parasites called mosquitoes? Well, here is the best way to repel mosquitoes naturally. Even though there are synthetic mosquito repellents available in the market, they can be a cause of concern if inhaled. That is why many homeowners are looking to repel mosquitoes naturally and protect their loved ones from the bites. The best part about natural repellents is that they are harmless to the environment and humans. Natural repellents usually block the sense of smell in mosquitoes. This, in turn, can make it hard for the tiny parasite to land on a human and suck its blood. Here is the list of 10 Natural Mosquito Repellents: Lemon Eucalyptus Oil In 2014, a study proved that a repellent with 32% of lemon eucalyptus oil offered 95% protection from tiny parasites like mosquitoes for up to 3 hours. The reason behind the effective performance of lemon eucalyptus oil is the main ingredient present called citronella which constitutes 85% of the mixture. As per the findings of the cleaning and cosmetic industry, lemon eucalyptus oil can repel yellow fever mosquitoes and malaria-carrying mosquitoes. How to use it? If you're looking to repel mosquitoes with this natural solution, all you need to do is create a mixture by mixing 1 part of lemon eucalyptus oil with 10 parts of witch hazel or sunflower oil. Do not use this mixture on children below 3 years old. Lavender The fragrance of crushed lavender flowers can repel adult mosquitoes naturally, states a study carried out on the subject in 2002. The best part about lavender is that it possesses antifungal, analgesic and antiseptic properties that not only prevents the attack of mosquitoes but also soothes your skin. Lavender is one of the best natural remedies to ward off mosquitoes, without causing any harm. How to use it? If you're looking to repel mosquitoes with a plant like lavender, you need to grow the plant indoors or in an outdoor area or procure it from the market. Then, take a few flowers and crush them until you extract the oil. You can apply this oil to bite-sensitive areas such as arms and ankles. You can also apply the oil to your skin using a clean cloth. Cinnamon Oil Besides being a great topping to your oatmeal or applesauce, cinnamon oil can help you get rid of itchy and red skin due to mosquito bites. It is proven that cinnamon oil can repel adult mosquitoes along with Asian tiger mosquitoes. How to use it? To use cinnamon oil, you need to make a diluted solution of 1% oil. To create the solution, you can mix 24 drops or ¼ teaspoon of the oil in 4 ounces of water. The best way to use the oil is to directly apply it on your skin, clothing, around the home, onto plants and in areas that are prone to mosquito attacks. Pro-tip: Be sure to not use cinnamon oil on your skin in large quantities, as it can lead to unwanted skin irritability. Thyme Oil Thyme Oil is one of the best natural mosquito repelling materials that can help you get rid of unwanted mosquitoes. The way to use the thyme leaves is by burning them. The burnt leaves emit a scent that offers 85% protection from mosquitoes for about 60-90 minutes. How to use it? When it comes to using mosquito repellent like thyme oil, you can prepare the mixture as a homemade brew or a spray. Use 3-4 drops of thyme oil in one tablespoon of base oil like jojoba oil or olive oil to prepare a homemade brew. If you're looking to prepare a spray, all you need to do is mix 4-5 drops of thyme oil in 2 ounces of water. Neem Oil Neem oil is one of the safest natural methods to keep the mosquitoes away from your body as well as your home. The effectiveness of neem oil will last approximately 3 hours and repel 70% of the mosquitoes. However, neem oil should not be used on the skin as it can lead to skin irritation. You can use the oil as a spray around your home. How to use it? Using neem oil is extra easy! All you need to do is dilute 50-100 millilitres of neem oil in lotion, oil or water. When choosing neem oil for the preparation, make sure that it is cold-pressed and extra virgin kind. Citronella Another common and natural way to repel mosquitoes is by using citronella. It is made purely of fine herbs that make it one of the best mosquito repellents. You can even use citronella candles available in the market to get 50% extra protection from mosquitoes. If you're planning to use citronella, it's vital to prepare it in the right way. When you prepare the product rightly, it helps you to get extra protection from mosquitoes and for a longer time. On the other hand, if not prepared well, the mosquito repellent will evaporate quickly, leaving you without any protection. How to use it? For people who wish to choose a safe and natural mosquito repellent that offers extra protection, you need to get this effective repellent. It is as strong as DEET but does not have any detrimental effects on the environment. Furthermore, many online stores sell citronella essential oil or candles to repel mosquitoes naturally. Tea Tree Oil Compared to other oils in the market, tea tree oil is quite useful in repelling mosquitoes. Best known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is an effective mosquito repellent. According to a field study, lotions and sprays that contain tea tree oil help you to keep your home protected from biting midges, bush flies and mosquitoes. How to use it? To use tree tea oil, you need to dilute the oil with water. You can then spray the repellent around your patio to ensure that there are no mosquitoes in or around your home. For better results, you can add any type of neutral oil like soybean oil to the mixture. You can spray the mixture on your skin but be sure to test a small area to see how tree tea oil reacts with your skin. Read About Dengue Fever: Lemongrass Lemongrass contains geraniol, an effective, potent mosquito repellent. Available in bright colours and lemony flavours, lemon grass can effectively repel mosquitoes. The added advantage of using lemongrass as a natural mosquito repellent is that it has a pleasant aroma and unique ornamental architecture. How to use it? To use the lemongrass as your tool against mosquitoes, all you need to do is to infuse lemongrass (finely minced) into water. You can then strain it to spray. If this isn't the way you wish to use the lemongrass, you can even purchase concentrated lemongrass oil and then dilute it. Pro-tip: Geraniol can irritate the eyes so be careful while using it. Soybean Oil Products that are made from soybean oil can offer protection from mosquitoes. It is readily available and will help you to secure your space from the unwanted and harmful attacks of mosquitoes. How to use it? For the best effects of soybean oil, it's highly recommended to add lemongrass oil to the soybean oil. The combination of both important oils will help you to safeguard your loved ones from different species of mosquitoes. Greek Catmint Oil The pink and white flowers of the Nepeta Parnassica can help you to keep mosquitoes at bay. The oil that is extracted from its leaves makes the whole plant even more valuable. A recent study reveals that the oil that is extracted from catmint can repel mosquitoes effectively and naturally for more than 2-3 hours. What's even more, another study reveals that the oil is extra repellent and powerful as compared to DEET. How to use it? The strong repellent can be made by crushing the leaves of the plant. Crush a few leaves to gather a small amount of aromatic oil from the plant and mix it with water. You can spray the mixture around your home to keep all the biting bugs at bay. Pro-tip: The scent may keep mosquitoes away but will attracts cats. Should You Choose Natural Mosquito Repellents To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes? Mosquitoes can, unfortunately, lead to numerous types of problems as they are carriers of thousands of germs. However, getting rid of mosquitoes with the help of artificial mosquito repellent can affect the environment negatively. That is why it's vital to choose to repel mosquitoes naturally. Still not sure about why natural is the way to go during mosquito repulsion? Keep reading! Chemical Free - As natural mosquito repellents do not have any harmful substance in them, this ensures that the repellent you use won't harm the environment. The chemical-free nature of the repellent will help you to keep one's family protected and safe not only from the harsh chemicals but also from the biting mosquitoes. No Skin Reaction - Natural mosquito repellents are made from plants that are safe. Thus, applying the mixture of such plants to your skin won't lead to any kind of rashes, itchiness or redness. However, be sure to test a small patch of skin to see how your skin reacts to different natural repellents and choose what works best for you. Safe For Kids - DEET when used even in small quantities can harm the safety of your kids. This is where natural mosquito repellents come in. Applying safe and natural mosquito repellents on the skin of children won't harm them. Thus, you can be rest assured that your kids are safe and secure from unwanted skin reactions as well as mosquito bites. Soothing Aroma - When you use the right mosquito repellent, you can get numerous benefits that contribute way beyond just keeping mosquitoes away. The right natural repellent such as lemon grass will help your body calm down and relieve stress. Effective Repellents - Despite being free of chemicals and harmful substances, some of the natural repellents are stronger as compared to DEET and other synthetic repellents. When it comes to warding off mosquitoes, there is nothing better than opting for natural repellents. When you repel mosquitoes naturally, it helps you not only protect your family from the blood suckers but also assist you in contributing to the environment. Final Thoughts There are plenty of ways by which you can protect yourself from disease-spreading mosquitoes. Grow these natural repellent plants in your yard to witness how effectively they can help you keep mosquitoes away from your home. Planting natural mosquito repellents is quite important in homes that have pets and kids. Some of the repellents like lemongrass, thyme and lavender can help you get rid of mosquitoes and the germs they carry. You can even use them to cook and prepare delicious food items. The added advantage of choosing plants as mosquito repellent is that they're good for home decor too. You can plant some of the mosquito repelling plants and keep them around your home area to enhance its look and keep your home safe. As some different researches and resources prove the efficiency of natural repellents, many homeowners are choosing natural ways to deal with these flying parasites. Choosing natural techniques is even more important when you have old aged people, kids or pets in your house. Experimenting with different natural mosquito repellents is the best way to prevent mosquito bites and keep them away from your loved ones.
Get Sick of Changing Seasons Too Easily? This Could Be the Cause
Every time we observe a change in seasons, many of you may complain of stuffy nose, scratchy or sore throat, constant sneezing, watery eyes, mucus draining from your nose into your throat, high fever, muscle aches etc. There may be multiple causes to it. However, experts say a favorable environment for microbial growth and possible reduction in your immunity levels are the two important reasons. Surge of viruses and allergens in the air: We come down with a cold or flu with seasonal change and this temperature shift makes way for viruses to flourish. While we think the change in the temperature is the cause behind it, changes in the weather conditions accompanied by the growth of certain viruses during this time is primarily responsible for the increasing rate of illness. The weather itself does not make you fall sick; the germs do. For example, seasonal allergies due to weeds like mugwort or ragweed etc. are due to conditional occurrences and not related to drop in temperatures that cause us to be sick. Make sure to get a fever panel test done for correct diagnosis when you notice symptoms. Immune system being too busy: With the onset of summer, people are generally hit a little harder as all the flower pollen gets released in the air. The immune system in such cases gets occupied with fighting and reacting to these allergies, thereby leaving the body more vulnerable to other viruses. Fluctuating temperatures may reduce the resistance of the immune system, making people fall sick frequently. During winter months: We are more confined indoors, which increases chances of disease transmission due to low and dry heating and poor ventilation, making us susceptible to diseases. Likewise, working indoors, such as confined office spaces, schools, office buildings, restaurants etc., also makes it easy for the viruses to spread. In the winter months, the level of vitamin D intake reduces, which is considered an important element for a healthy immune system, but again it gets compromised, leaving doors for viruses to enter. The most common of these viruses being the Human Rhinovirus (HRV) found predominantly during spring and winter. The flu-causing influenza virus spreads when the air is dry and cold, especially during winters. Breathing in cold and harsh dry air can also result in narrowing of blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract that conserves heat, resulting in the white blood cells unable to reach the mucous membrane and harder for us to fight these germs and viruses. How to keep safe from seasonal sickness during weather changes? Being precautious by following certain lifestyle changes can help dodge that running nose, sneezes, rashes etc. There are a lot of ways that can either help prevent or decrease the chances of seasonal illness. Some of them being, Drink plenty of liquids: Staying hydrated at most times is vital. Keep yourselves properly hydrated because we may not realize it as the air is drier; hydration helps in the long run. Drinking enough water helps you flush out all the toxins, clear out mucus from your body, and keep your nasal passage and throat moist, giving less chance for bacteria to stick around. Getting a diagnosis on time: Most diseases that cause inflammation can result in fever. It becomes important to find out the real cause behind it, and get started on treatment accordingly. Every year with seasonal changes hitting different parts of India, people suffer from fevers including Dengue, Malaria etc. Getting a fever panel test package helps in identifying the cause and getting to the right treatment. Fever panel test price is affordable for all; one should consult an expert and get the basic fever tests done. Regular exercise: Exercising improves blood circulation and helps keep the immune system strong, which in turn helps combat the viruses and lowers the risk of getting infected with seasonal changes, sickness or fever. Well balanced diet and rest: Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables in the meal, taking the ideal amount of vitamins and minerals followed by plenty of restorative sleep and rest, helps keep the body in check and gives it the power to fight off diseases. Practice proper hygiene: The global pandemic has already taught us the importance of good hygiene, washing hands regularly, avoiding touching surfaces such as door knobs or switches, covering your face while coughing or sneezing etc. This helps reduce the potential risk of infections for us as well as others around us. Another habit raised from the pandemic is the use of masks as a beneficial preventive measure to avoid catching viruses and falling sick frequently. Get vaccinated: With the shift from one season to another, the viruses constantly change and are often unknown, it is best advised to get a flu shot for prevention. Apart from these, get 8-hour sleep, stay indoors when sick, consult a doctor when allergies persist for longer durations etc. are some measures that can help prevent you and your family from getting stuck in this maze of seasonal changes. While these certainly can’t control the cold or the warm temperatures, they can at least ensure healthy living that will keep diseases at bay. Each season is unique and is looked forward to for different reasons. Don’t be just stuck with the thought of getting sick with cold, coughs, sniffles etc.