We are counting down the last few days of summer, which means we are welcoming the rain again. As much as I love the rain – soothing, calming – we all hate Dengue! What is Dengue?
Dengue is a common virus that can be painful and harmful, according to Dengue Guidelines for Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, and Control, published in 2009. It is spread by infected mosquitoes and could affect you and your family and friends – basically anyone of age and health. WHO Dengue and Severe Dengue Factsheet make known that an infected mosquito only has to bite you once to pass on the infection. If someone is infected, there is also a chance that a different mosquito could bite them, pick up the virus, and spread dengue to another person. This can happen even if the infected person does not show any symptoms of the disease.
Who is at Risk of Dengue? According to Dengue Surveillance Report of DOH, National Epidemiology Center, Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Division, Dengue is the fastest growing disease carried by mosquitoes in the world and is mainly found in cities and towns, rather than in rural areas. In the Philippines alone, over 113,485 people were suspected to have dengue in 2014.
What is the Impact of Dengue?
Dengue can cause fever, aches, pain, nausea, sickness and/or swollen glands and a rash, said the CDC Traveler’s health June 2015 issue. Infection could also lead to time off work, unexpected healthcare costs and hospitalization. In some cases, dengue can develop into severe dengue, which can be life-threatening: on top of the other symptoms, fluid can build around the lungs, making it difficult to breathe, and severe bleeding and organ damage can happen. Although children and people who have had dengue before are at a higher risk of developing severe dengue, everyone is potentially at risk and you can even get severe dengue at the first infection.
How can we protect ourselves?
There are ways to help reduce the risks of getting infected every day, wherever you are. Inside, sleep underneath mosquito nets, use insecticide and mosquito coils. Outside, wear clothing that covers the skin, and use insect repellants containing DEET or icaridin. You can also help stop mosquitoes breeding outside your home by clearing standing water, covering water storage containers, and managing waste that may collect water. If you hear about people in your area with dengue and you notice any symptoms in yourself or someone else, speak to your doctor immediately.
Ask your doctor for more information on how to protect yourself and your family against dengue or visit www.dengue.com.ph.