Bengaluru: It is common for people to have more than one mosquito bite at a time. Mosquitoes can bite a person more than once. And, where there’s one mosquito, there are sure to be more.

However, elderly people are more at risk of developing more serious illnesses from mosquito bites, because their immune systems may be weaker than most.

Elderly people who are bitten by mosquitoes are more susceptible to the serious cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) and encephalitis or meningitis. At times, these illnesses can lead to permanent neurological damage or even death.

Again, this is because elderly people may have weaker immune systems or they may have other conditions that compromise their overall health.

Older victims of these diseases can also become extremely dehydrated, have difficulty breathing, experience swollen glands that restrict airways, or just not recover quickly or entirely from their ordeal. Seeking medical treatment is urgently needed in these cases.

Everyone, but especially the elderly, should do everything they can to prevent mosquito bites.

· Since mosquitoes are more likely to bite between dusk and dawn, protect exposed skin during this time if you are going to be outside.

· Wear a good mosquito repellent on exposed skin when outside. The best repellents are those with DEET as an ingredient. It should only be about 7.5% of the product’s total. Put it on your clothing, around the edges of sleeves and edges of your pant legs.

· It has been reported that people who have consumed alcoholic beverages are more prone to being bitten by mosquitoes also. You don’t have to be a complete teetotaller, but just keep this in mind.

· Make sure that window and door screens are secure.

· It is critical to pay attention to your environment as well during the spring and summer months. If you live near a stagnant pond, you may want to take extra precautions to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs in standing water.

· If you are in an area that has flooding from heavy seasonal rain, you need to take special care as well. Dump out any buckets or other containers that are holding water. If you have a child’s swimming pool, dump the water out when it is not being used. Mosquitoes like to breed in cool, shady areas, especially if there is standing water nearby.