The entry of Zika virus to the country last September must not be taken lightly.
First, the virus is being transmitted by the same type of mosquito that causes Dengue.
From 2014, "dengue fever cases rose significantly to 200,415, sixty percent higher than last year’s 121,000," according to Allied Against Dengue, a nationwide initiative of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Department of Health, Philippine Pharmacists Association, SmartParenting.com.ph, plus companies and media outfits.
This means only two things: one, our efforts to protect ourselves from the mosquitoes have not been enough; two, marami pa ring lamok.
And the incidence of Zika virus and dengue will continue to rise if we do not make it one of our priorities.
Here are five important things we all should know.
1. The culprit, the female Aedes aegypti, is a day-biting mosquito.
DengueVirus.com said, "The mosquito is most active during daylight, for approximately two hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset."
This type of mosquitoes are typically found in small, wet places, including discarded bottle caps, soda cans, cups, and tires, as well as potted plants and vases.
The adult mosquitoes like staying in cool, shaded places in the home, such as wardrobe, laundry areas, cabinets, and under furniture.
2. The female mosquitoes, characterized by their white stripes, are the ones that bite.
She requires blood to produce eggs, which can survive for six months or more without being in water.
3. A primer of WHO (World Health Organization) stated that a single female can produce up to 500 eggs.
It can lay around 100 eggs per blood feed, and can do it in five batches during her one to two-week lifetime.
4. What can be done to prevent them from staying in our homes or biting us?
- Wear light-colored clothes that cover as much of the body as possible.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, IR353, and Icaridin.
- Physical barriers such as window and door screen and mosquito nets help.
- Make sure the shaded places and spaces at home are clean.
- Anything you do not need, throw it away.
5. Be an “ally” against these mosquitoes, call 1800-14441-0884 or 1800-8908-8275.