Dengue fever is a viral infection that will be transmitted by a mosquito and enters the circulation through a bite wound. The disease can manifest as a typical viral fever and could settle within few days without any manifestations. But, at times, the infection can give rise to a deadly complication in which there can be bleeding taking place within the body due to excessively low platelet counts which will disrupt the clotting mechanisms in the body. The condition is known as ‘dengue haemorrhagic fever’ or ‘DHF’ and could be fatal unless supportive measures are taken.
The disease is prevalent in the tropical countries and epidemics are reported from time to time which causes hundreds of unfortunate deaths mainly among the children as well as in the elderly. According to the statistics, the epidemics are seen to be associated with rainy seasons and tend to fall with dry weather. This is well in compliance with the mosquito density during the same time period. Thus, it opens up a clear time frame as well as effective objectives in order to launch a dengue prevention programme.
One important characteristic of these preventive measures is its community oriented implementation rather than being individualized or restricted. Unless the whole community participates, the prevention programmes would be useless as well as a waste of public funding.
Some of the important measures which can be taken to prevent acquiring dengue fever would be,
1. Always use mosquito repellents or nets even during the day time
The mosquito aedes aegypti or aedes albopictus usually bites during the day time and especially in the mornings as well as in the afternoons. Thus, using mosquito nets or repellents in places roamed by mosquitoes would be useful in preventing such mosquito bites. In this regard, it is advisable to use impregnated nets as these would be able to act both as a preventive barrier and a repellent at the same time.
2. Prevent water collections in your garden and in the surrounding
It should be noted that dengue mosquito lays its eggs in clear non flowing water which is more likely to receive good sun light as well. Thus, eliminating such places in your garden as well as in the surrounding will prevent the mosquitoes from breeding and thus the disease spread. It should also remember that these mosquitoes are able to bite a person within a range of 1 km from the place of its origin. Thus it emphasizes the need to involve the whole community rather than few individuals.
3. Make the breeding sites unsuitable for mosquitoes
These measures are taken in mass scale and introduction of fish that eats the mosquito eggs as well as spreading a chemical that will form a layer on the surface of a water source which deprived the mosquito eggs of much needed oxygen could be listed as relatively common.
4. Identify early signs
Making an early detection of the illness also plays a vital role in saving the life of the patient as well as preventing the disease from spreading and forming an outbreak. Thus, the health care professionals have to be vigilant, specially at times of increased prevalence, in order to detect dengue patients and refer for appropriate treatment.
A vital piece of information that needs to be remembered in making a diagnosis of dengue fever is that its complications usually occurs at the time when the fever seems to be settling.