Dengue fever also known as break bone fever is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Dengue is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. Mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DEN1 to DEN4). These viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person.
Symptoms of dengue fever:
Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for 1 to 2 weeks, may include
· A sudden, high fever
· Severe headaches
· Pain behind the eyes
· Severe joint and muscle pain
· Skin rash, which appears three to four days after the onset of fever
· Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)
Sometimes symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection.
Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults. However, serious problems can also develop. These include dengue haemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
Do you know:
Ø Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever are the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the world.
Ø Only the female mosquito feeds on blood. This is because they need the protein found in blood to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectar.
Ø The mosquito is attracted by the body odours, carbon dioxide and heat emitted from the animal or humans.
Ø The female Aedes mosquito searches for suitable places to lay their eggs.
Ø Aedeses are day-biters, most active during dawn and dusk.
To protect against dengue fever:
Remove ALL sources of stagnant water. Deny the Aedes mosquito of any chance to breed.
Common mosquito breeding ground:
Artificial containers (man-made):
· Flower vases and pot plates
· Pails, water-storage jars, basins
· Discarded receptacles
· Choked roof gutters
· Gully Traps
· Unused toilet bowls and cisterns
· Air conditioner Tray and dish rack tray
· Concrete drains
· Tree Holes, bamboo stumps
· Leaf axils, fallen leaves
· Ground Depressions
Potential Breeding Grounds:
Steps to do:
v Change water in vases/ bowls every other day.
v Remove water from flower pot plates every other day.
v Turn over all storage containers
v Clear blockages and put insecticide in roof gutters at least once a month
v Check your landscape structures for any water retention & mosquito breeding regularly. Remove these structures if possible.
v Seal off all floor and gully traps
v Cover all toilet bowls
v Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
“Prevention is better than cure”
Spread the dengue prevention message to others……
Let your family, friends & neighbours know about the dangers of breeding mosquitoes….