The Mosquito Menace by Eastern Cape – MyPR:
With the Zika virus outbreak in South America and Yellow Fever in Angola, mosquitoes are getting a lot of bad press. Now World Malaria Day, 25 April, reminds us that almost 5-million South Africans are at risk of contracting the disease. What should you do to protect your family from mosquitoes?
Malaria is preventable and can be cured, but it is fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. According to the Department of Health, about 80% of the 600 000 malaria deaths in Africa occur in sub-Saharan Africa. And while malaria cases in South Africa decreased between 1999 and 2014, the South African Medical Journal noted last year that “the past two seasons have seen increases in both local and imported cases”. South Africans have long known that travellers to and residents of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal are at risk of contracting malaria. We may also be aware that travellers to Southeast Asia should be concerned about drug-resistant malaria in countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
But recently, other mosquito-transmitted diseases have been making headlines. While the Zika virus seems contained for now in South America (with a Columbian businessman the only case reported in South Africa), 100s of people have died in Angola’s Yellow Fever outbreak, which has already been exported to Kenya, the DRC and China. It seems likely it will reach South Africa.
The good news is that there are new, innovative ways to prevent getting bitten in the first place. A hackathon held at Johns Hopkins University recently looked at this very question. Those taking part (biomedical engineers, scientists, global health specialists, students, public health experts from Brazil, the US Armed Forces Pest Management Board and US Department of Agriculture’s Invasive Insects Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory) came up with ideas that included “culturally appropriate fashion accessories that emit a long-acting mosquito repellant”. The Johns Hopkins hackathon was onto something. One of the most effective ways of using mosquito repellent, besides directly applied to skin, is to treat nets, linen, tents, and sleeping bags and – yes – even clothes and accessories, including shoes, with a suitable repellent such as Vital Protection, which has been independently proven to reduce insect bites by 90%. According to David Hyams, President of the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM), Vital Protection is an effective insect repellent for use on fabrics. “Used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, it can be recommended as an insect repellent, the efficacy of which has been established against the malaria vector, the Anopheles mosquito.”
“Two-fold prevention method is the best possible option,” agrees Keely Bouwer, Marketing Director at HHL Technology, “especially considering that the Yellowfever outbreak has already crossed borders, and that many expect Southeast Asia’s drug-resistant malaria parasite to reach Africa.”
Vital Protection from HHL Technology is a long acting insect repellent and one application lasts for 3 months or 30 washes. It is odourless, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and non-irritant, and is a ‘vital’ step in preventing malaria transmission. It is also SABS tested and registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For more information please visit http://www.vitalprotection.co.za or our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/VITALPROTECTION and Twitter (@VITALPROTECTION).
Retailers are Cape Union Mart, Outdoor Warehouse, selected Trappers stores or online at www.vitalprotection.co.za
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