Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PREVENTING NASTIES; Guard against Bites: Use Spray to Deter Mosquitoes and Midges

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PREVENTING NASTIES; Guard against Bites: Use Spray to Deter Mosquitoes and Midges

Article excerpt

MOSQUITOES Each year about 1,500 people return to Britain with malaria,so if you're going anywhere where the disease, is prevalent obtain aprescription for anti-malaria tablets. Mosquitoes bite mainly between 2am and3am so sleep under a net; sprays won't protect all night. You can use mosquitonets impregnated with one of a family of repelling chemicals known aspyrethroids. The best longlasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are treated with along-lasting version of the insecticide recommended by the World HealthOrganisation, but are currently only available in Africa (look for PermaNets).

Use sprays to avoid nuisance daytime-biting mosquitoes and midges as well (thelatter can carry dengue fever). Professor Chris Curtis, who specialises ininsect bites and malaria at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,recommends anything containing DEET and a repellent called Autan.

For natural options that work, he advises Mosi-Guard Natural or Citronella (thelatter needs reapplying every two hours). Oil from the neem tree is also apowerful insect repellent, and neem cream is good for bites (www.neemco.co.uk).

Use vaporisers which plug into the wall and release an insecticide vapour allnight. A strong vitamin B complex may help because it causes us to secrete anundetectable compound which mosquitoes don't like. If you're bitten, trycalamine, sparing use of hydrocortisone or antihistamine creams. A newclinically approved device called a ZapperClick (available from Boots andHolland & Barrett) stops bites swelling and itching by sending electricalimpulses via a quartz crystal that stop the release of histamine.

JELLYFISH Only a small percentage of several thousands species of jellyfish arereally dangerous but stings can be very painful. Bumper concentrations ofjellyfish called Mauve Stingers have been found in Mediterranean watersrecently. Wetsuits and Lycra "stinger suits" can protect you, but it's best toavoid infested waters and dead jellyfish on the beach. …

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