There is little doubt that dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical regions across the globe, is a treacherous disease. Though it was first recognized sometime in the 1950s during a particularly severe outbreak in Thailand and the Philippines. Almost 70 years since dengue was first identified, it continues to affect people Asian and Latin American countries. In fact, it is among the leading causes of hospitalization and death in these regions. Domestically, in 2015, Delhi registered its worst breakout of dengue since 2006. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the number of children and adults affected by dengue around the world has registered sizeable growth in recent decades. One estimate says that almost 390 million cases of this vile infections occur every year. Whereas a different study is of the view that 3.9 billion people in 128 countries are at the risk of being infected with the dengue virus.
Before we delve into the precautions you can take to prevent the disease, it is important to know and understand some basic facts about it. First, the dengue virus is typically spread by the infected female mosquitoes of the Aedesaegypti species. It is occasionally also caused by the female mosquitoes of the Ae. albopictus species carrying the virus. The infection, caused by one of the four serotypes of the dengue virus, can be classified into two types: dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever. Human beings are infected with the virus via the bites of infected female mosquitoes. In fact, people infected by the disease serve as the chief carriers and multipliers of the virus and give the virus to untainted mosquitoes. It is also important to make note of the fact that the Aedesaegypti mosquitoes consume their blood meal during the day-time. And the peak of their biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening, before sunset.
A person is believed to be infected when they experience a high fever (104°F) in combination with any two of the following manifestations of dengue:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Vomiting, nausea
- Severe headache
- Sore glands
- Muscle and joint pain
In the absence of a vaccine that can prevent the occurrence of the disease, it is imperative to endeavour to prohibit it from spreading. One of the primary precautions of dengue is to make sure solid waste is properly disposed. This prevents the breeding of Aedesaegypti mosquitoes. Here are some more precautions of dengue that you can undertake:
- Improved water storage practices: Cover containers, regularly change water stored in air coolers and vessels such as vases, flower pots, etc. and dispose stangnant water.
- Clean surroundings: Nothing deters the breeding of mosquitoes quite like hygeine
- Steer clear of crowded areas
- Use door and window screens
- Use mosquito nets while sleeping
- Use air conditioning instead of opening doors and/or windows
- Wear long-sleeved clothes and full-length bottom-wear
- Avoid going out during the high point of the mosquitoes’ biting periods — early in the morning and in the evening, before sunset
- Use mosquito killer sprays
In fact, companies such as Mortein offer a wide range of products that you can use as a mosquito repellent. Their products like the Mortein Insta5 Vapourizer and Mortein Mosquito Killer spray can prove quite effective in providing instant protection against mosquitoes that can cause dengue.