March 07, 2016 327
- The global incidence of dengue fever has grown dramatically in recent decades
- About half of the world´s population is now at risk
- Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide
- There is no specific treatment for dengue
- WHO estimates 390 million dengue infections per year of which 96 million manifest clinically
- There is no vaccine against dengue
- 215 dengue deaths in Malaysia in 2014 (2012: only 35)
- Dengue cannot spread via human contact, only by Aedes mosquito bite
- The Aedes mosquito typically attacks in the day time. Its favourite spots are below the elbow and the knee
- The first dengue vaccine is buyable since this month (March 2016) – but it is only allowed in Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines so far.
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue Fever is a serious viral disease cause by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue fever causes a severe flu-like illness, affecting both children and adults. Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a more severe form of dengue. It causes bleeding and death. DHF can be very serious in affected persons.
How is Dengue Spread?
The mosquito gets infected with the dengue virus when it bites a person who already has dengue or DHF. For about a week the virus multiplies inside the mosquito, after which it bites a healthy person who soon develops symptoms of dengue fever.
Symptoms of Dengue
- Flu-like symptoms (starts around 3 days after mosquito bite)
- Sudden high fever (for around 6 days)
- Severe headache, especially in the forehead
- Pain behind eyes, which worsen with eye movement
- Muscle and joint pains
- Loss of appetite
- Rash over chest and upper limbs
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of DHF
- same as Dengue, plus:
- Severe and continuous stomach pains
- Pale, cold, moist skin
- Vomiting (with blood)
- Sleepiness and restlessness
- Constant crying (in children)
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty in breathing
- Aedes aegypti mosquito can breed in any container that can hold water –
water barrels, drums, flower vases, plant saucers, old tires, even tree stumps with holes in them.
Indoors: in closets and dark places
Outdoors: in cool shady places
- Cover or close water containers tightly
- Turn empty containers face down
- Dispose garbage properly – water can collect and mosquitos will breed in cans and bottles
- Remove mosquito eggs
- Change water in flower vases every day and scrub the inner sides of the vases
- Try to avoid mosquito bites by covering your skin and by the usage of mosquito spray
- As you can see, even very small water stagnations near homes and surroundings can be a potential breeding ground for mosquitos and should be observed or removed.
by Jens Behrensen
German fitness addict sharing my experience and trying to bring a healthier lifestyle to people. View all articles by Jens Behrensen.