DENGUE ALERT: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention
‘Tis the season of rain! And ‘tis the season to bring out those umbrellas, raincoats, and boots! Sure, those rainy season gears are needed in some countries experiencing heavy rainfall and flood. But how about the Philippines and other neighboring Asian countries? Guess umbrellas, raincoats, boots aren’t enough to safeguard one’s health ‘tis season. Mosquito repellent lotions and sprays are must-haves too!
Out of all the genera of mosquitoes, it’s most likely that the aedes mosquitos bring dengue to human. Aedes is a small, dark mosquito that can be identified by the white bands on its legs and a silver-white pattern of scales on its body
When mosquito bites a person who has dengue virus in his or her blood, the mosquito becomes infected with the dengue virus. An infected mosquito can later transmit that virus to healthy people by biting them. Dengue cannot be spread directly from one person to another, and mosquitoes are necessary for transmission of the dengue virus. The symptoms are sometimes diagnosed as flu; the only difference is that dengue symptoms includes sudden high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and skin rash. Dengue may also lead to hemorrhagic fever, which causes mild bleeding in the nose, bleeding gums, and easy bruising.
There is no treatment for dengue in the sense that patients can only be given supportive and symptomatic management. Medicine or measures that directly fight the virus are yet to be developed. It is fortunate that the natural course of the disease allows most patients to recover spontaneously. This is one reason why prevention is very crucial.
The Department of Health on its previous campaigns against dengue strongly stressed out that it is during the month of September where numbers of dengue victims soar. The reason behind is mosquitoes are now surviving in septic tanks, and no longer just on clean stagnant water. Thus, to eliminate mosquitoes and its dengue threat, we should start off by finding where mosquito breeding sites are.
Here are 6 ways to prevent dengue, according to DOH:
1. Cover water drums and water pails at all times to prevent mosquitoes from breeding
2. Replace water in flower vases once a week
3. Clean all water containers once a week. Scrub the sides well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to the sides
4. Clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rainwater will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes
5. Puncture or cut old tires used as roof support to avoid accumulation of water
6. Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles, and other items that can collect and hold water.