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Prepare Yourself To Tackle Vector Borne Diseases This Monsoon Season

prevention of vector borne diseases

Beat the Monsoon Menace

Jul 06, 2024
Social Cause

Monsoon season brings much-needed relief from the scorching summer heat in India, but it also ushers in a host of health challenges, particularly vector-borne diseases. Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by pathogens and parasites transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. In India, the most common vector borne diseases include Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, and Japanese Encephalitis, all of which see a spike during the monsoon season. This blog delves into why these diseases increase during the monsoon and provides practical preventive measures to safeguard your health.


Understanding Vector-Borne Diseases

Vector borne diseases are illnesses caused by pathogens (such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites) that are transmitted to humans through the bites of infected insects or other animals, called vectors. In India, the most common vectors are mosquitoes, ticks, and flies.


prevention of vector borne diseases


Common Vector-Borne Diseases in India During Monsoon

  • Dengue Fever: Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and skin rash. In severe cases, it can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.


  • Malaria: Caused by Plasmodium parasites and transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria symptoms include fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening.


  • Chikungunya: Another viral disease spread by Aedes mosquitoes, chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain, which can persist for months or years.


  • Japanese Encephalitis: This viral brain infection is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. It can cause inflammation of the brain, leading to headache, high fever, disorientation, coma, and in severe cases, death.


  • Zika Virus: Transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, Zika virus often causes mild symptoms but can lead to serious birth defects if a pregnant woman is infected.


  • Lymphatic Filariasis: Commonly known as elephantiasis, this parasitic infection is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause severe swelling in the limbs and genitals.


  • Scrub Typhus: This bacterial disease is spread by infected mites. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes a dark scab-like region at the site of the chigger bite.


prevention of vector borne diseases


Why Vector Borne Diseases Increase During Monsoon

The monsoon season in India, typically lasting from June to September, creates ideal conditions for the proliferation of these vector borne diseases - especially mosquitoes. Here's why:


Increased Breeding Sites:

Heavy rainfall leads to water accumulation in various places like potholes, discarded containers, and poorly drained areas. These stagnant water bodies become perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

  • Optimal Temperature and Humidity: The warm and humid conditions during monsoon are ideal for mosquito breeding and survival. These conditions also allow the pathogens within the mosquitoes to multiply more rapidly.


  • Longer Survival of Vectors: The moist environment helps vectors like mosquitoes survive longer, increasing their chances of transmitting diseases.


  • Human Behavior: During rains, people tend to stay indoors more, which can increase their exposure to indoor-breeding mosquitoes like the Aedes species that transmit dengue and chikungunya.


  • Weakened Immunity: Changes in weather can sometimes lead to a temporary weakening of the immune system, making people more susceptible to infections.


  • Overflow of Sewage: Heavy rains can cause sewage systems to overflow, contaminating water sources and increasing the risk of vector borne diseases, which can further weaken overall health.


prevention of vector borne diseases


Practical Preventive Measures

1. Maintain Clean Surroundings : The first step of prevention of vector borne diseases during monsoons is to ensure that there is no stagnant water around your home. Regularly clean and empty water from coolers, flower pots, bird baths, and other containers that can collect water eliminating the chances of any development of mosquito breeding sites. Keep your surroundings clean and free from garbage. Proper waste disposal and maintaining a clean environment can significantly reduce mosquito breeding.

  • Cover all water storage containers tightly.
  • Clear roof gutters and ensure proper drainage around your home.
  • Dispose of unused items that can collect water, such as old tires, cans, and bottles.


2. Use Mosquito Repellents : Apply mosquito repellents on exposed skin and clothing. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Reapply as directed, especially after sweating or washing.


3. Wear Protective Clothing : During the monsoon season, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to minimize skin exposure. Light-colored clothing is preferable as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.


4. Install Mosquito Nets and Screens  : Use mosquito nets over beds, especially in areas with high mosquito density. Ensure that windows and doors have screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house. Use indoor insect sprays, mosquito coils, or vaporizers to kill or repel mosquitoes.


prevention of vector borne diseases


5. Use Insecticides : Insecticides and larvicides can be used to treat water bodies that cannot be drained. Fogging in high-risk areas can also help reduce the adult mosquito population.


6. Community Efforts : Participate in community cleanliness drives to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites. Educate others about the importance of preventive measures and encourage communal efforts in maintaining a clean environment.


7. Stay Informed : Stay updated on the latest information about vector-borne diseases in your area. Local health departments often issue advisories during the monsoon season, which can provide valuable information on current disease outbreaks and prevention tips.



prevention of vector borne diseases


Government and Healthcare System Preparedness

Government and healthcare systems play a crucial role in managing vector borne diseases during monsoon season. Their efforts encompass various strategies, including regular surveillance and monitoring to detect outbreaks early and track vector populations. Integrated vector management programs, such as fogging and insecticide spraying in high-risk areas, are implemented to control disease spread. Public awareness campaigns are conducted through media channels and community-level programs to educate the population. Healthcare readiness is ensured by stocking necessary medications and diagnostic kits, as well as training healthcare workers in disease management. Additionally, ongoing research and development focus on improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment methods, including the development of new vaccines and vector control technologies. These collective efforts aim to minimize the impact of vector-borne diseases and protect public health during the challenging monsoon season.


vector borne diseases in India



The monsoon season, while bringing relief from the heat, also increases the risk of vector borne diseases in India. Understanding these diseases, why they spread during the monsoon, and how to prevent them is crucial for protecting your health. By maintaining clean surroundings, using mosquito repellents, wearing protective clothing, and adopting other preventive measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting these diseases. Community participation and staying informed are also essential in combating the spread of vector-borne diseases. Stay vigilant, take preventive steps, and enjoy the monsoon season safely.

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