YESTERDAY was World Mosquito Day. Of all the things to celebrate!
Well ‘celebrate’ might be a bit of a scratch…I mean stretch. First established in 1987 when Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria, August 20 is set apart every year to educate people about the dangers of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Ironically, the annoying insect is making a bit of a buzz on the Gold Coast this week. Synonymous with summer barbeques and outdoor sports, the mosquito is one thing we most definitely do not miss over winter.
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Being able to go outside and enjoy the weather without having to lather up with mosquito repellant at all times of the day is a luxury we Gold Coasters do not take for granted.
As much as we need the rain at the moment, these bloodsucking insects are an unfortunate by-product that follow close behind.
As we were reminded after only one day of rain last weekend.
Last year, the mosquito made it’s home on the Gold Coast in plague proportions and nowhere was harder hit than the Coomera Wetlands on the northern end of the Coast.
Not only are they irritating, mosquitoes are dangerous to boot. Over 6000 cases of mosquito-borne diseases were reported in Australia last year.
Leading the charge was Ross River fever – a disease that initially presents with flu-like symptoms but ongoing fatigue, muscle and joint pain can persist for months, if not years.
The Barmah Forest virus is another mosquito-borne disease that presents with similar symptoms to Ross River Fever but doesn’t last as long, and the serious dengue fever is a concern a bit further north.
While people need to take care to prevent bites, our pets are also at risk. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm to pets through deadly parasites they carry; and can be potentially fatal in dogs.
With more rain forecast over the coming week, our days of going outside au-natural may be coming to an end for another season.
Prevent mosquitoes breeding around your property by getting rid of any stagnant water, keeping your pool well chlorinated and ensuring rainwater tanks have close fitting lids.
Prevent bites from the dangerous pests by covering up before you go outside with protective clothing or repellent. There are a number of natural remedies around that are gaining prominence in the market but a repellent with DEET is still recommended by experts as the longest lasting protection.
Don’t let mozzies suck the life out of your summer, get smacking!
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