THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE TROPICS – MOSQUITO EDITION
Chickagunya, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis, what do they all have in common? Mosquitoes!
Mosquitoes (or Mozzies as we like to call them in Australian slang) are just one of those things we’ve had to learn to live with, literally, here in Bali. There really isn’t a “Bali mosquitoes season”. There are mosquitoes here in Bali all year round, they are worse during the rainy season (October – April) but the weather is changing here and we do get rain all throughout the year.
You might say it’s inevitable that you get a few nibbles by these flying critters, and well, yes it probably is! Hands up who’s jumped on the scooter at dusk and forgotten sun glasses or helmet (visor) and ended up with a face full of bugs or even a mozzie in the eye (super painful!). Or yoga classes at dusk and dawn, there’s something about the mix of tights and sweat that mozzies just love – and yes, they can get you through your tights! But there are some things you can do to avoid getting bitten as much as possible.
With cases of Chikungunya and Dengue currently doing the rounds we thought it was a great time to take a look at how to avoid getting bitten, the low down on these viruses and what to do if you do get them!
Tips to avoid getting bitten!
A mosquito transmitted viral bug, spread by the female Aedes mosquitoes, there are four different strains of Dengue in Bali, and (unfortunately for us). This species is usually active during the day, especially the two hours after sunrise or before sunset. Mosquitoes are the vectors of Dengue, so your best defense is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. They will typically lay their eggs near still water like puddles, buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, and vases.
If you’ve had Dengue before you’ll know it’s pretty nasty – Dengue has two distinct phases. After an incubation period of 3-14 days it starts with the sudden onset of a severe headache, high fever, and joint and muscle pain. After 3-7 days, the patient enters what is called the critical phase. At this time, the fever starts dropping (below 38°C/100°F) and warning signs associated with severe Dengue can start to show – these might include:
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for this illness. Papaya leaf juice (from the young leaves of the tree) every few hours after the initial onset can really help to reduce the severity. It tastes super bitter but worth the pain! Rest and drink plenty of fluids such as water, juice, coconut water or soup.
Dengue fever and chikungunya are both spread by the Aedes mosquito, which mainly feeds during the early morning and late afternoon
The lowdown on Chikungunya!
Chikungunya (chik-un-GUN-yuh) – another Aedes mosquito transmitted viral bug, different to Dengue -causing the sudden onset of fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms might include:
Signs and symptoms usually appear within two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mozzie and most will recover within 10 days but for some the effects of joint pain and dpression can last years. Again, rest, fluids and time are your greatest healers for this one. Don’t forget this species is usually active during the day, especially the two hours after sunrise or before sunset.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease found in South-East Asia and while it’s considered a low risk, we’ve definitely heard about cases of it here in Bali . The infection is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. This particular type of mozzie loves to breed in and around rice paddies and usually bite after bite around dusk. Japanese encephalitis can cause headaches, convulsions, encephalitis and in rarer cases meningitis. There is no specific treatment available for Japanese encephalitis, it will depend on the severity of symptoms as to how you manage them.
What to do if you get sick…
As with any virus – the only way to know for certain you have something in particular is to test your blood. Here in Bali you can call Prodia – they will come to your home, villa or hotel – take your blood and get the results to you.
Bali Healing Holistic Center in Canggu – can also test your blood and they have a incredible range of therapeutic treatment services to speed up your healig process such as acupuncture, herbal treatment, detox therapies and IV treatments.
Bioressonance therapy – Alive Store Owner swears by this. Bioresonance is a form of holistic diagnosis and therapy. Therapy can read the energy wavelengths coming from cells within the body and that the frequencies of these wavelengths provide information about the health of the body. Incredible for picking up parasites, viruses, organ function, hormone imbalance, healing your cells and restoring your body back to its optimum. Often difficult to get an appointment – tell them Alive Owner Naomi sent you ;).
Rest, nourish and Recover
If you’re unwell, no matter what bug or virus you have. It’s important to look after your body from in the inside out. Stock up on wholesome broths, soups and nourishing meals. Drink lots of fluids like coconut water, fresh juices, kefir and infused waters, organic fruits and vegetables and plenty of rest! Here’s a fantastic recipe using the magical mushroom broth powder – a super nourishing Mushroom Broth Noodle Bowl.
For an extra helping hand, think about doing a cleanse- with or without herbs. If you want to go down the herbal path we stock an amazing range of herbs by Ming Herbs and tinctures from Live Essences. Try these NEW TO STORE Bac and Viral Cleanse capsules (pictured below) from Ming Herbs (available in store only).