Republic of the Philippines, Department of Health
San Lazaro Compound, Sta. Cruz, Manila
(+632) 743-8301 to 23
The Department of Health (DOH) turned over dengue information resources to the education and local government departments and the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, to add more power to their capabilities in helping curtail the dengue problem in the country, as the DOH launched its National Anti-Dengue Campaign.
"The fight against dengue is not a DOH battle alone. We have allies in this war from the local front, most notable are the Departments of Education (DepEd) and Interior and Local Governments (DILG) and the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, and we have to reinforce the instruments to their fight by giving them more ammunition in the form of education materials,"
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
WHAT IS DENGUE FEVER?
Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (a more severe form) are the most common mosquito-borne viral diseases in the world.
Dengue Fever is an illness caused by infection with a virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. This disease is also called break-bone fever because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain.
There are two types of dengue fever:
• Dengue fever which manifests itself as a flu-like illness.
• Dengue hemorrhagic fever which is a severe, often fatal, complication of dengue fever.
Dengue Fever is spread though the bite of the Aedes Mosquito. There are about 950 species of Aedes mosquitoes in the world of which about 180 species exist in the South East Asian countries.
Aside from the Philippines, dengue problem is also being experienced in countries that have tropical climate like in neighboring Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, India, Taiwan;
Dengue is also found in South American countries such as Brazil, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the continent country Australia.
Even Singapore which is known for its clean surroundings have not been spared of an outbreak.
THERE IS NO DRUG FOR DENGUE.
To prevent dengue fever, you must prevent the breeding of its carrier, the Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are identified by the black and white stripes on their body. You can get rid of the Aedes mosquito by frequently checking and removing stagnant water in your home.
The usual biting time of the mosquitoes is every early in the morning and early dawn and children are the frequent victims since they used to play everywhere especially after classes.
LIFECYCLE OF AEDES MOSQUITO
It takes 7-9 days for the mosquito to develop from the egg to the flying adult. Under optimal conditions, the egg of an Aedes mosquito can hatch into a larva in less than a day.
The larva then takes about four days to develop in a pupa, from which an adult mosquito will emerge after two days.
Three days after the mosquito has bitten a person and taken in blood, it will lay eggs, and the cycle begins again.
FACTS ABOUT THE MOSQUITO
• Only the female aedes mosquito bites as it needs the protein in blood to develop its eggs.
• The mosquito becomes infective approximately 7 days after it has bitten a person carrying the virus. This is the extrinsic incubation period, during which time the virus replicates in the mosquito and reaches the salivary glands.
• Peak biting is at dawn and dusk.
• The average lifespan of an Aedes mosquito in Nature is 2 weeks
• The mosquito can lay eggs about 3 times in its lifetime, and about 100 eggs are produced each time.
• The eggs can lie dormant in dry conditions for up to about 9 months, after which they can hatch if exposed to favourable conditions, i.e. water and food
POTENTIAL BREEDING SITES
Dengue mosquitoes do not breed in swamps or drains. They tend to breed in containers of stagnant water inside and outside the home.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes generally known as a container breeder normally breed in pure water which is not very deep. Sometimes it could breed even in slightly polluted or slightly brackish water.
Abandoned water tank
Mosquitos breeding in a quart jar ..
The common breeding places of the Aedes mosquito are so varied and so many:
We normally speak about discarded plastic cups, coconut shells, empty bottles, containers used as ant traps in houses, tree holes, drums and containers used for collection and store water.
They also breed in cans, buckets, jars, blocked roof gutters and tarps, sheaths of some plants like bromeliad and bananas etc.
Other productive containers for dengue are discarded tyres, toilet tanks, flower vases and pots.
If you remove these sources, your risk of being bitten by a Dengue mosquito is significantly reduced.
Example of poor garbage management
(Coconut shells with rain water collection) ..
Water collected under the flower pot.
All households are also urged to constantly check any collection of water in their dish drains and water dispensers because in inspections, many dengue-carrier mosquitoes lay their eggs in these containers.
A research study conducted by the International Health for Tropical Medicine showed that productive containers for dengue breeding sites are mostly found indoors.
Tyres kept outdoors collect rain water ..
Many breeding places of the mosquitoes are found right inside of houses and yards.
In some places families who cannot afford water pumps often end up storing water in large water receptacles like jugs, cans, drums and plastic jars.
These stored water become stockpile of most families for several days becoming good breeding places of mosquitoes.
Flower pot with water collection ..
Huge water storing containers without tight fitting lids
that cannot be emptied easily..
There are also so many unsuspected places in our garden where water remains for more than 7 days and these could be Aedes mosquito breeding place.
Always throw away stagnant water that collects in every possible container that you can find in your surroundings.
USUAL MOSQUITO BREEDING SITES
UNUSUAL MOSQUITO BREEDING SITES
INDICATION OF THE DISEASE
The presence of virus of this disease
in the body can only be ascertained through blood test in the laboratory. The test can show whether the blood sample contains dengue virus or antibodies to the virus.
The dengue virus takes about a week to multiply in the patient's body after the patient is bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito.
A person infected with the dengue fever virus can show symptoms three to 14 days from the time of infection.
Symptoms of typical uncomplicated dengue usually start with fever within 5 to 6 days after a person has been bitten. Classic dengue fever is characterised by an abrupt onset of a high fever that may last up to five days.
Some people who get dengue fever don't have any symptoms at all. Young children often have a fever with a rash, but other symptoms are minor.
The specific indications of this disease include:
• High fever, up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
(about 40.6 degrees Celsius)
• Severe joint and muscle pain
• Nausea and vomiting
• Pain in back, body and joints
• Presence of spots on the body
• Pain in eyeballs
• Shortage of white cells in the blood
• Severe headache, cold und flu
• Rash may appear over most of the body 3 to 4 days after the fever begins. A second rash may appear later in the disease.
• In case of serious illness, blood may be emitted from different parts of the body like mouth and the nose
If a person gets fever for more than two days and/or is suspected to have dengue then he should be brought immediately to the nearest hospital or health center for the doctors to assess the situation.
Once a patient is found out to be a dengue victim, he or she will be admitted to the hospital for the doctors to monitor their progress especially in their blood.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, and most people recover completely within 2 weeks. It is advisable to take plenty of bed rest, drink lots of fluids, take medicines to reduce fever.
You should not take aspirin or ibuprofen, as this can aggravate any bleeding symptoms you may have.
Symptoms of dengue fever normally last for about a week. However, it can take longer to return to normal. You may feel fatigued, have a low appetite and feel generally unwell for several weeks after your fever has gone.
Nearly all the victims of dengue fever are children ..
Dengue fever can sometimes develop into a more serious illness, called dengue hemorrhagic fever, which means you may have bleeding under the skin, from your gums and nose, and you may vomit blood or pass blood in your stools. The condition can suddenly worsen and be fatal.
Without prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing shock to the system (dengue shock syndrome).
There was little that doctors could do for this 3-year-old boy.
Like thousands before him he had reached the most dangerous phase
of the disease, dengue shock syndrome, and he died of internal
bleeding and organ failure three days after being admitted ..
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is fatal in about 5% of cases (mainly in children and young adults).
For dengue hemorrhagic fever, re-hydration is needed to replace lost fluids, and in some cases, blood transfusions may be necessary to control bleeding.
DENGUE PREVENTION CHECKLIST
To prevent the spread of dengue fever, you must first prevent the breeding of its vector, the Aedes mosquitoes. 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.
The guidelines below will give you an overview of how you can prevent the Aedes mosquito from breeding.
• Keep your homes and offices protected against mosquitoes.
• Keep homes and offices airy, bright and safe from moisture.
• Fix nets on doors and windows.
• Wear full sleeves clothes.
• Use mosquito nets while sleeping.
• Don't leave the overhead tanks open.
• Don't keep water in containers for more than a week. Instead, empty them every week, let them dry and then fill again.
• Don't let the water falling from the overhead tanks to accumulate permanently. Instead dry it.
• Don't let the water accumulate in any case both inside or outside the home.
• Be mindful of your home's cleanliness.
• Keep the fence and hedge boundaries duly cut both inside and outside the home, and spray over them with insecticides, particularly in the evening.
• Don't let the water stay all the time in the flower pots, gamias of plants. Instead water them only in the morning every alternate day.
• The best way to fight dengue is through sustained cleanliness and sanitation.
THE USE OF
Fogging, using the nauseous gas Malathion, is used to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of the dengue virus, to stop transmission of the disease.
• The chemical contains toxins that may cause intestinal problems, brain damage, respiratory problems, among others.
• Fogging does not totally eradicate the dengue-carrying mosquito as it just transfers to other place which had not been fogged
• Fogging just kills the adult mosquito but leaves the kiti-kiti (larvae) to thrive
• Fogging is only advisable in highly-concentrated areas where there are already outbreaks in the dengue case. To declare an outbreak, there must be clustering of cases in significant areas.
HOW TO FIGHT
THE DENGUE VIRUS
The best way to fight dengue fever is prevention and the way to do this is to arm yourself with information regarding this disease.
Knowing how to protect one's self from mosquito bites will keep you and your family from getting sick.
More effective dengue prevention and controlling programs are needed, rather than using the fogging method which is highly risky to health and environment.
There are four strategies to fight dengue:
1) search and destroy mosquito breeding sites
2) the use of self protection measures
like using mosquito nets
3) seeking early treatment
4) no indiscriminate fogging