The start of the rainy season has been announced by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) and while that can mean cooler temperatures this June, it also signals the start of the dengue season. Moist environments and more frequent bouts of rain makes it easier for mosquitoes to breed and to spread the disease within communities.
Dengue is a dangerous viral infection that is spread through the bite of a specific species of mosquitoes called Aedes aegepti and the female Aedes albopictus. It is one of the fastest spreading vector-borne diseases in the world and is endemic to 100 countries.
The World Health O explains that the symptoms of dengue can range from subclinical (those who may not know that they are infected) to severe flu-like infections that can lead to organ failure and even death. Learn more about the simple preventive measures that you can practice at home to help stop the spread of this disease in your neighborhood.
Look out for the initial symptoms
Dengue starts out with a high fever of 40°C or 104°F and can manifest other symptoms like:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Pain behind the eyes
More severe cases of dengue called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may cause more serious symptoms like bleeding gums, blood in stools/urine, and persistent vomiting. Proceed to your nearest hospital at the first onset of severe symptoms.
Although dengue can pose a serious threat to your health, it can be avoided if you apply some simple changes within your homes and your communities. Read more to learn about some common practices that you can start doing today.
Clean your surroundings
Mosquitoes thrive in moist and damp places like the nooks under your kitchen sink, rain gutters, and unkempt areas inside and outside your home. While it is wise to keep stocks of water inside basins for future use, stagnant water is the best environment for mosquitoes to multiply and infiltrate your home. Regularly drain and clean water jugs and even pet water bowls to prevent the spread of dengue in your community. Look out for garbage waste like spare tires and dispose them accordingly.
Invest in the essentials
Take out your trusty mosquito net (kulambo) to add an extra layer of protection in your bedroom. Mosquito repellents are readily available in supermarkets and drugstores and are usually safe for children to use. Here are some other tips on what you can do and what you should avoid during dengue season:
There is currently no known cure or vaccine for dengue, but its symptoms can be treated. Symptoms typically arise after a few days of getting bitten, so it is important to stay vigilant and to monitor yourself and your family. Always keep your homes clean and make an effort to dry your surroundings during the rainy season. Consult your doctor should initial symptoms arise.
Your doctor will always be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice for your condition. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph and UNILAB, Inc. at 8-UNILAB-1 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Always buy your medicine from your trusted drugstores and retailers.
Dengue and severe dengue. Who.int. (2020). Retrieved 15 June 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue.
Dengue fever - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Retrieved 15 June 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dengue-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20353078.
Dengue | CDC. Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 15 June 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/index.html.
Dengue | Department of Health website. Doh.gov.ph. (2020). Retrieved 15 June 2020, from https://www.doh.gov.ph/Health-Advisory/Dengue.