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How To Prevent Dengue: Essential Steps to Avoid Infection

How To Prevent Dengue: Essential Steps to Avoid Infection

It is important to know how to prevent dengue, especially if you live in one of the hundred countries affected by the disease. People who live in tropical areas are at a higher risk.

Dengue is a viral illness caused by a bite from an infected mosquito called Aedes Aegypti. Symptoms may include high fever, aches and pains, and sometimes a rash. There are four serotypes of dengue virus. A person who recovers from a particular serotype of dengue may develop immunity to it, but not to the other serotypes.

Mild dengue fever creates flu-like symptoms that can be treated and controlled if tended to immediately. However, within hours, these symptoms can become severe or even deadly. Severe dengue is one of the major causes of serious ailment and fatality in some parts of Asia and Latin America. Unfortunately, there are no specific medicines to cure dengue. The best way to address dengue is by taking steps to prevent infection.

How to prevent dengue

Dengue fever infects people day and night, all year round. But the start of the rainy season is also the peak time for possible dengue outbreaks. It is best to enact steps to prevent dengue, especially during this cold weather season.

Prevent Rainy Season Diseases by Following These Tips

Keep your place dry and clean

Mosquitos, specifically those who carry the dengue virus, breed and thrive near stagnant water. Once or twice a week, clean and cover containers with stagnant water. These include buckets, pots, birdbaths, planters, pools, trash cans, outdoor toys or any items that could hold water. Throw out empty bottles, old tires, and old water containers that mosquitos are likely to inhabit. Flower vases and water containers inside your house should be scrubbed and refilled with clean water.

Install window and door screens

To keep mosquitos from breeding inside your house, you can install screens on windows and doors. You can also purchase mosquito nets that you can use when you sleep at night for extra protection. You should also cover strollers and cribs with mosquito netting if there are infants or children in the house. Sleep with air conditioning when available.

Wear clothing that covers arms and legs

To avoid mosquito bites, wear clothes that will cover the arms and legs such. Reduced skin exposure will lessen the risk of mosquito bites.

Use insect sprays and bug killers

If there is a high rate of mosquito infestation in your area, you can use bug sprays to help kill mosquitos and other harmful pests inside your home. Make sure you protect yourself from inhaling the insect spray by wearing a mask. Ask other family members especially, children, pregnant women, elders, or persons with high-risk health conditions to stay outside until the fumes of the spray fade away. Wash your hands after using the spray.

Use insect repellents and mosquito patches

For extra protection, apply insect repellent on exposed skin. Remember to read and follow label instructions. Do not apply on the hands, mouth, eyes or irritated skin. Do not apply under clothing. Reapply insect repellent as often as directed. You can also attach mosquito patches on clothes or on nearby items to repel mosquitos.

Make a checklist before traveling

Research the risk of contracting dengue fever in any place you might travel to. Pack a handy first aid kit including insect repellents or bug sprays. Protect yourself from insect bites by packing clothes that will cover exposed skin. Apply insect repellent when needed.

Key takeaway

Dengue virus can infect anyone. With early detection, cases with mild symptoms can be treated. But severe dengue fever cases are considered a medical emergency.

Dengue can be dangerous and even fatal especially to children, elders, pregnant women, and people with existing health conditions.

You have to take the necessary steps to prevent dengue infection. Make sure you keep your homes clean, dry, and free of breeding sites for mosquitos. If people keep their neighborhoods clean, it may help stop dengue outbreaks from occurring. Protect yourself, your family and the people around you from dengue fever.

Learn more about Infectious Diseases here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Dengue | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/index.html

Accessed February 3, 2021

Avoid Dengue by Preventing Mosquito Bites | Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD), https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/media/avoid-dengue.html#:~:text=Use%20insect%20repellent%2C%20wear%20long,are%20infected%20with%20dengue%20virus.

Accessed February 4, 2021

Dengue fever – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dengue-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20353078

Accessed February 4, 2021

Dengue and severe dengue, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue

Accessed April 14, 2021

 

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Written by Lhay Ann Boctoy Updated Apr 14
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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