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Though fresh water lakes are tempting, experts advise to avoid swimming in them because they are unchlorinated and can be breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects who thrive immensely during the khareef season in Salalah.

Experts, doctors and municipality officials say khareef visitors must take necessary precautions as mosquito and insect bites at tourist spots in Salalah is a common phenomenon. There might be scars and itching which can ruin people’s fun during the season.

Doctors recommend that people use bottled water and avoid tap water. In beaches, it is recommended to cover one’s legs and arms. People must also apply mosquito repellent. Dr Basheer A P, chief internist at Badr al Samaa Hospital in Ruwi, said, “Mosquito and tick repellent are easily available in all parts of Salalah. Make sure to have and use them regularly.

The repellent lasts for several hours and is safe. Tourists should be cautious. If you are bitten, avoid scratching on bites and apply Hydrocortisone cream or Calamine lotion to reduce itching.”

He also added that while going to crowded places, senior citizens, chemotherapy patients and children must cover their faces to avoid germs.

“Also they can have flu vaccine as a precautionary measure,” he said.

Dr Jehan Hamdi, general physician, KIMS Oman Hospital, said, “Though the mosquitoes in Salalah are not harmful but it is always best to take precautions. The ointment is the best option as it is readily available and also economical. Make sure to take special care of children as they are sensitive to rashes. Never leave them in open spaces and make sure to cover them well.”

Camping is one of the most sought-after activities in the khareef season. Campers, however, must be careful as it is during wee hours that mosquitoes begin their attack. Doctors strictly recommend visitors to sleep inside mosquito nets.

Dr Fathiya Rahman, MD at Abeer Hospital, added, “The best way to protect from mosquito bites is to avoid being bitten. How do we do that? Well, adopt simple measures such as wearing long, light-coloured clothing when going outdoors, especially after dark when mosquitoes are active.

“Another simple step is to use mosquito repellents. You can buy them from local pharmacies or supermarkets in the forms of swabs, creams or sprays. Pick whichever is convenient and right for your age. If you are camping outdoors make sure to use mosquito nets.”

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