Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dengue and its prevention

I attended a talk on dengue some time last week and it's quite interesting to know certain facts that I have never been exposed before. All I had ever known about dengue was, you'll get it from a mosquito called Aedes and it is active during early morning and late evening. Full stop. But there's more.

So far we have no vaccine for dengue and there is no proper treatment for it. If you are diagnosed, you will be admitted to the hospital and you will be dripped with water. So it is very important that you prevent it from happening rather than trying to cure it.

Dengue is transmitted between people by Aedes mosquito. So someone who has ben infected by the virus when being bitten by the mosquito, that insect will carry the virus in her (only female bites). That virus can multiply in her body and stay about 3-7 days. When bit someone else she will passed the virus to that poor healthy person.

60% to 70% of our population has been infected by dengue whether or not you are aware of it, depending on individual's level of antibody. First bite normally will not be very severe, but when you get bitten for the second time, that's when you can see all the symptoms, again, depending on the level of antibody and which level of virus has been transmitted to your body. This virus will go away from human body usually after 7 days, depending on the severity.

There are a lot of probable symptoms, and the obvious ones are nausea, vomiting, rashes, body aches and bleeding. Rashes will be something coming from under your skin, usually at your arms, legs, and sometimes whole body. It is not like acne, so you can't feel the rashes but you can see reddish spots from under your skin.

1 mosquito can lay 100 eggs and they can become adult in 1 week. When in the eggs or during lava stage, they do not carry the virus. They only carry and transmit the virus when become adult. Hence, anything that contains water must be washed once a week, before the eggs have the chance becoming adult. Not only you wash and throw the water away, you must scrub the surface as well to deform the eggs, as when you throw the water, the mosquito's eggs will be glued at the hard surface, and they can live on a dry surface for 9 months. Once water touched the eggs, they will hatch and become lava. How scary... Coz you thought you have washed it all.

Aedes bites between 5 to 7 am/pm. So be careful when your kids go out and play. Iris loves playing outside during these times in the evening. Its life span is about 2 weeks to a month and it can fly up to 50-150m. They like dark coloured container/shirts, especially red because it reminds them of blood. Female aedes feeds on blood as they need blood to produce egg (male aedes are vegetarian). These insects are attracted to human sweat. So...rajin rajin la mandi ye.

Some petua for dengue fever, which not proven medically but has been a practice:
Pucuk betik rebus and minum, air kelapa and crab soup.

Hope this helps.

Talk by vector specialist.

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