Dengue fever season: how to protect ourselves.

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In the face of the global burden of COVID-19 pandemic, Southeast Asia is currently experiencing another outbreak, with countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia reporting several cases and deaths resulting from Dengue fever.

As of 6 July, more than 15,500 cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Singapore, the number of confirmed cases is predicted to exceed its previous annual record of 22,170 in 2013, as confirmed by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA).

Malaysia’s Health Director General, Datuk Dr. Noor Abdullah last month revealed, the country is projected to record a rise in dengue fever cases till September following an upward trend of 8% for 6 weeks consecutively. 84 deaths have been recorded Unlike the previous year with lower fatality cases within the same period, the increase has been attributed to the public’s late intervention seeking attitude.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s most populated country, 68,000 cases of dengue fever have been recorded late June as confirmed by local health officials.

Dengue Fever

It is a viral infection which takes female Aedes mosquitoes as its host, the virus responsible for the infection is called DENV which comes in four serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4). Dengue fever is usually mild but could lead to severe complication sometimes.

Millions of cases of the Dengue fever occur annually worldwide, with Southeast Asia and Western pacific being the most hit by the virus.

Symptoms

With an incubation period of 4-7 days, some do no experience symptoms while others do. Dengue fever normally cause high temperature with some of the following symptoms:

-Headache

-Muscle, bone and joint pain.

-Nausea.

-swollen glands.

-pain behind the eye.

-Rash.

Severe Dengue

-Severe abdominal pain.

-Persistent vomiting.

-Blood in urine, stool or vomit.

-Shock.

-Difficulty in breathing.

-Restlessness or irritability.

Diagnosis

Only a recommended laboratory test from the doctor can confirm dengue as its symptoms could be mistaken for diseases like malaria or typhoid fever.

Treatment

No precise treatment for dengue fever yet, though doctors may give recommendations to relief symptoms. The best is to prevent its occurrence.

Prevention

The consistent down pour makes the weather suitable for mosquitoes to thrive Ensuring our environment is devoid of potential mosquito habitat and preventing being bitten by mosquitoes are the best ways to prevent diseases they transmit. The Aedes mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever are also responsible for Yellow fever and Zika virus and the female anopheles mosquito also transmit malaria parasite. Here are some tips to keep mosquitoes away:

-Keeping the surroundings clean.

-Use of insecticides/ mosquito repellants.

-Use of mosquito net.

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