Baby its cold outside…
Don’t let this cold snap get you too down as the flipside will inevitably be a long, hot summer like the one we just had. It may not seem like it now and you may not want to know this but it is very likely that from an insect bite perspective, next summer will be the best on record. These long, cold, dark months mean mosquitoes and other biting insects will be better equipped and more able to proliferate and more so than last summer.
Cold snaps such as the one we are currently sitting in the middle of weed out weaker specimens of biting insects, leaving only the strongest and best adapted for when the weather eventually thaws out.
A similar process occurred last summer, with record numbers of biting insects profiting from such rich and lush conditions. There were also record numbers of Brits admitted to hospital for insect bite related illnesses both here and abroad.
The highest profile one of course was Cheryl Cole who contracted malaria whilst on holiday in Tanzania. She was using a Deet-based mosquito repellent and still got bitten! She also took anti-malarial drugs yet still contracted the deadly disease. The efficacy of both these forms of disease prevention has dwindled steadily in recent years – Cheryl providing perfect proof of this.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba also contracted malaria recently highlighting just how indiscriminatory malaria can be unless you’re closely connected to Ashley Cole that is. It doesn’t just prey on the young, old, weak and sick. You can be of peak physical health and fitness and still get struck down.
Deet will melt through your flip-flops, dissolve plastic bottles and disintegrate most synthetic clothing and is probably not a good idea from the health angle. However, putting this controversy to one side, several species of mosquito have built up total resistance to Deet. So if you are in an area with these resistant mosquitoes, you may as well be using water rather than Deet as will have the same effect; it has been over used and has is now coming to end of its shelf-life. Use it at your peril!
Anti-malarial drugs hover over the 90% efficacy mark but just like previous malarial prophylactics like choloroquine resistance will build up as is already happening. If you are going abroad to high-risk areas where any bite could lead to a full plethora of complications or disease transmissions an effective insect repellent is absolutely crucial, more so now than ever before. If you want to take the ‘belt and braces’ approach of combining malarone and an insect repellent, make sure you have a repellant that is scientifically proven to provide 100% efficacy. incognito anti-mosquito spray fully meets this criteria. http://bit.ly/a03Ax3
There have been high numbers of Dengue fever outbreaks all over the world recently. Champion Surfer Andy Irons recently passed away as a result of contracting the disease. Not a lot of people know this, but the Dengue fever carrying mosquito Aedes aegyptii bites during the day too so a repellent shouldn’t just be reserved for dusk and evenings only. You will need to use more than you think and you don’t wanto to run out either!
Of the many Brits that go abroad, whether they’re gap-packing, flash-packing or back-packing, the majority of them do not take nearly enough precautions. It’s not just a matter of buying an insect repellent, taking a few tablets and thinking everything will be fine. It is highly recommended for them to read up on how to protect themselves.
It’s not only those going abroad that are at risk. In the UK there have been record numbers of insect bite infections. Saturdays Star Mollie King ended up on crutches from a horsefly bite. Golfer Ian Poulter was forced out of the French Open from a complication to a similar bite he received. These are all cases of bites on British soil.The dreaded tick is still with us with a vengeance, causing record numbers of Lyme’s disease fatalities in Europe.
So the next time you find yourself basking in the warm sun, don’t forget that wherever you are, there is a risk associated with insect bites whether exotic or not.
Season’s Greetings from all of us at incognito.