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Dengue Prevention Tips

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The rampant cases of dengue in the Philippines is a public concern that expats should be aware of. With the onslaught of typhoons, various calamities striking consecutively and the start of the rainy season (June – September), breeding grounds for mosquitoes are formed through puddles of stagnant water.

People infected with the dengue virus are usually asymptomatic (80%) or only have mild symptoms like uncomplicated fever. Others have more severe illness (5%), and in small proportions, it is life-threatening. The incubation period ranges from three – fourteen days, but it normally ranges between four – seven days.

Dengue virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which usually lives between the latitudes of 35° North and 35° South below an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). Humans are the primary hosts of the virus, but it also circulates in non-human primates. The virus is transmitted from the host to the mosquito when the mosquito takes a blood meal from the host. Then it takes about eight – 10 days for the virus to circulate around the mosquito, which then spreads into the mosquito’s salivary glands.

 

 

Prevention is still the best solution in avoiding dengue. To prevent the spread of dengue fever, you must first prevent the breeding of its vector, the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is easily identifiable by its distinctive black and white stripes on their body. It prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes. You can get rid of the Aedes mosquito by frequently checking and removing stagnant water in your premises.

 

Here are some preventive measures on how you can stop the mosquitoes from breeding:

 

1. Remove sources of stagnant water.

  • Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water hence it is utterly important to not let the water accumulate. Make sure to:
  • Turn pails and watering cans over and store them under shelter
  • Remove water in plant pot plates. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid the use of plant pot plates, if possible.
  • Cover overhead tank to prevent access to mosquitoes.

 

2. Avoid mosquito bites (by using mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin (KBR3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus). Get your house and surroundings fumigated for pest control.

3. Prevent mosquito entry by keeping doors closed and windows screened.
If your door and window screens have holes, there’s no better time to have them repaired.

4. Wear protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors.

5. Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day; therefore, special precautions should be taken during early morning hours before day break and in the late afternoon before dark.

6. Keep your house and surroundings clean. Make sure all the gutters are properly cleaned and covered.

  • Change water in flower vases. Clean and scrub the inner sides of vases. Wash roots of flowers and plants thoroughly as mosquito eggs can stick to them easily.
  • Clear fallen leaves and stagnant water in your scupper drains and garden. These leaves could collect water or cause blockages to the drains, thus resulting in the buildup of stagnant water.
  • Clear any stagnant water in your air cooler unit.
  • Turn pails and watering cans over and store them under shelter.
  •  Remove water in plant pot plates. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid the use of plant pot plates, if possible.
  •  Loosen soil from potted plants to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water on the surface of the hardened soil.
  • Cover rarely used gully traps. Replace the gully trap with non-perforated ones and install anti-mosquito valves.
  •  Cover bamboo pole holders after use. Rainwater can potentially accumulate in these bamboo pole holders if they are uncovered and create a habitat.
  •  No tray or receptacles should be placed beneath and or/ on top of any air-conditioning unit so as not to create a condition favourable for mosquito breeding.
  • Do not block the flow of water in scupper drains along common corridors in HDB estates. Avoid placing potted plants and other .\paraphernalia over the scupper drains.

7. There is no commercially available vaccine for dengue fever hence if symptoms for dengue occur such as:

  • High-grade fever.
  • Severe headache.
  • Severe joint and muscle pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  •  Skin rash – The rash may appear over most of the body 3 to 4 days after fever.
  •  Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin, causing purplish bruises.
  • Make sure to contact your doctor immediately.

 

Remember that a safe home is a happy home. Keep yourself and the others around you safe and educate them about dengue prevention tips by sharing these tips.

 

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Author: Expatch Editorial Team

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Related post:

Dengue Awareness Month This June

 

 

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