Up your guard against deadly Dengue virus

July 27, 2020

WE are now in the peak season of killer Dengue and some may be left off guard amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Just like coronavirus, dengue virus is also deadly. Both can be prevented by observing proper health protocols.

According to the official data of the Department of Health, a total of 271,480 caszes were reported from January 1 to August 31, 2019 which is 95 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018 with Region 6 having the highest cases with 45, 345 infection and 201 reported deaths.

There is currently no specific cure yet for dengue, but the symptoms can be managed within a week after diagnosis.

DOH said moist environments and more frequent bouts of rain makes it easier for mosquitoes to breed and to spread the disease within communities. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) 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.

Watch out for cross infection during COVID-19 pandemic, some of the dengue symptoms are similar to coronavirus. Dengue starts out with a high fever of 40°C or 104°F and can manifest other symptoms like:

* Rashes

* Muscle/joint pain

* Vomiting

* Headache/nausea

* 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.

It’s all about prevention that we can contain the spread of the virus and avoid getting infected. Read on about the simple preventive measures that you can practice at home to help stop the spread of this disease in your neighborhood.

* 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.

* Buy citronella-based products for your home or use mosquito net (kulambo) to add an extra layer of protection in your bedroom.

* Mosquito repellents are readily available in supermarkets and drugstores. They are usually safe for children to use.

* Wear clothes that offer more coverage like long sleeves and pants.

* Install screens on your windows and doors.

* Buy odorless insecticides and keep away from the reach of children and pets.

* Have a medicine kit on hand in case of an emergency (update your kit every 3 months).

* Avoid mosquito coils that may cause health risks for those with respiratory conditions.

* Do not wear dark-colored clothing.

* Avoid spending too much time outside your home most especially in areas that are infested with mosquitoes. Since we’re still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), follow the government guidelines to avoid arrest.

* Reconsider getting fumigation services that will not address the root cause of infestation in your community.

There is currently no known cure or vaccine for dengue, but its symptoms can be treated. Always keep your homes clean and make an effort to dry your surroundings during this rainy season.