Expert Advice: Don’t use too much mosquito repellent

Published: October 1, 2011

"Repellents contain chemicals known to cause several skin diseases," Dr Nasreen Muzaffar.

LAHORE: Excessive use of mosquito repellents should be discouraged as these contain chemicals known to cause several skin diseases, Dr Nasreen Muzaffar said on Friday.

The Punjab University professor said extensive marketing campaigns were misleading people into overuse of these products. Dr Muzaffar was speaking at the third meeting of Dengue Research Group, consisting of doctors and other, at the committee room of the Punjab University Centre for Undergraduate Studies on Friday. The meeting agreed that there was a need to form a group of experts to provide authentic information on prevention and treatment measures for dengue fever to the people. They said people were being misled into believing all kinds of views on the disease and its prevention spread through the media. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Mujahid Kamran said the university would utilise its own resources to carry out research on the disease and no help would be sought from the government.

Masud Rabbani of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences said facilities at various universities and research centres should first be examined to figure out if these met international standards.

Muhammad Jamil Akhtar of Mayo Hospital said data from more than 10,000 blood tests conducted for diagnosis of dengue fever at the hospital had been compiled for helping with the research.

Dr Kausar Abdul Malik of Forman Christian College said spread of dengue virus could be controlled only through joint efforts by all stakeholders.

Earlier, Prof Dr Aslam Khan of the University of Health Sciences briefed the meeting on dengue mosquito. He said female mosquito could bite humans anytime between sunrise and sunset however it was most active at around 2pm in the afternoon. He said tree holes and other damp places were the ideal spots for the mosquito to lay its eggs. Prof Khan said the virus was first reported in the region well before partition.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2011. 

Reader Comments (1)

  • Oct 4, 2011 - 10:49PM

    It seems fair to say that mosquito repellent shouldn’t be the only line of defence against mosquitoes. Repellents are useful, but a much better approach would be to combine them with mosquito nets, covered skin and an eradication effort to destroy mosquito breeding grounds in populated areas. As an example, my partner and I relied solely on mosquito repellent… until we got dengue fever last month.

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