Dengue: Don’t fear it, face it!
What is Dengue?
Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito borne disease caused by a rather different kind of mosquito, but indeed a mosquito you don’t want to mess around with.
OK, so how does it spread?
Dengue is transmitted by a species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally A. Aegypti.
What does it look like?
Well it is a striped version of the normal mosquitoes we see around, but this one is different. It is larger, and has peculiar timings. It is known to deliver its bite from dawn. Yes, this particular breed does not shy away from heat, in fact, it welcomes it. It lays its eggs on stagnant fresh water, which means it can easily lay eggs inside your house, in a bowl of water, inside your refrigerator’s water compartment, fish bowls and shady places. What’s more is that these mosquitoes grow up very fast, just 3 weeks from being born, to adult and then reproduction.
Right, what happens when someone is infected with Dengue, and who is at risk?
Everyone. Children are more at risk because of severe bleeding, vomiting with blood, pain behind the eyes and extremely high fever that goes up to 103-104. It is worrying because Dengue is now one of the fastest growing epidemics in the world, in Pakistan the rate has climbed exponentially since 2011, killing around 300 with another 14,000 infected. Mainly the province of Punjab seems to have been effected by it, because in 2010 more than 21, 204 people were infected.
Looks and sounds serious, how can I be safe from the striped menace
You need to be aware of the fact that there is no vaccine for Dengue and that Pakistan is one of the hardest hit countries where such a deadly disease resides. Dengue is increasingly becoming an epidemic in Pakistan. Mostly in the Punjab province, Dengue is spreading rapidly with several cases being reported in Karachi now too. Since there is no vaccine, the only way is to eliminate the carriers, the mosquitoes to be precise. We have outlined a few more tips that might help reduce the chances of this disease spreading further;
- Change water in your vases every alternate day
- Also remove water from flowerpots every alternate day, this will prevent the Aedes mosquito from laying eggs in the shade provided by the plants.
- Turn over pails and water storage containers
- Clear water blockages and use insecticide in roof gutters monthly.
- Please do not litter, this is one of the most important steps needed to prevent this disease overall, littering causes shade and ideal conditions for these mosquitoes to breed freely and easily.
- Cover all toilet bowls in your home
- Turn over all water storage containers to help prevent the Aedes mosquito from laying its eggs.
- Use mosquito repellent products, they help
“I think I have been bitten during the day, I have severe headache and nausea”
Get yourself checked up for Dengue infections as soon as you can, the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better.
“So all we have to do is to be safe from this striped mosquito by preventing water from being clogged”
Not so fast. You need to be aware and spread it as well. Spreading awareness helps people understand just how dangerous dengue actually is. Most people do not realize the magnitude of this disease and don’t take proper measure which leads towards the breeding of the mosquito. As mentioned earlier we need to eliminate the carriers and the source, the mosquitos. Adopt the mentioned guidelines and spread it around as well so people know what they are up against.