How do you get Dengue Fever?
Dengue is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). Dengue fever is not contagious and does not spread directly from person to person.
A mosquito is infected when it takes a blood meal from a dengue-infected person. After approximately one week, the mosquito can then transmit the virus to other people they bite.
What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever usually develops within four to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include:
- Sudden onset of fever for two to seven days
- Severe headache with retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Skin rashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding from the nose or gums or easy bruising of the skin
Dengue haemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome is a severe form of dengue fever that could result in death.
How can you prevent getting Dengue Fever?
To prevent the spread of dengue fever, you must first prevent the breeding of the Aedes mosquito which spreads the disease. The Aedes mosquito is easily identifiable by the distinctive black and white stripes on its body.
It prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes.
It is important to do your part and pay close attention to any mosquito breeding or adult mosquitoes present in your homes, take the necessary steps to prevent or remove them and protect yourselves from mosquitoes bites. These steps include:
- Regularly doing the Mozzie Wipeout and removing any stagnant water in homes;
- Turn the pail
- Tip the vase
- Flip the flower pot plate
- Loosen the hardened soil
- Clear the roof gutter and drains within compounds, and place Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) insecticide inside
- Spraying insecticide at dark corners of the home, for example, under sofas and beds, behind curtains and in the toilets
- Applying mosquito repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites
- Using mosquito screens
- Using spatial mosquito repellent (e.g. mosquito coil) in well-ventilated areas of the home.
What should you do if you think you have Dengue Fever?
If you suspect you may have dengue, please seek immediate medical attention. There is no specific treatment for dengue or dengue haemorrhagic fever. Treatment for dengue is supportive. In severe cases, you may require hospitalisation and aggressive emergency treatment with fluid and electrolyte replacement or blood transfusions.