Dengue Fever is a tropical viral disease caused by Dengue Virus, vector born in nature transmitted by Aedes Aegypti Mosquito (having characteristics zebra like black and white marking on body). The disease outspreads in the season of winter as the mosquito grow best at temperature between 250C to 350C affecting 400 million people yearly (CDC). The disease is more common in densely populated urban areas of Southeast Asia (Pakistan, India and China)
Currently there is no definite vaccine available at market against Dengue Fever (although there are 6 vaccines in the process of preparation) thus the only preventive way is to “Fight the Bite” by keeping the mosquito away or by limiting the number of mosquito by reducing their habitats
Aedes Aegypti mosquito, unlike female anopheles mosquito of Malaria is active more at daytime rather than night and bites more at dusk and dawn. Thus the following preventive measure should be taken more seriously at that specific time
01. Awareness of Dengue Fever and Prevention
- The first and prime important step to prevent and eliminate dengue from your community is that you must have awareness about what the disease is, when it spread, how the disease occurs, who is responsible for, who is transmitting the disease and how it can be prevented. Take part in Dengue awareness campaign or health education seminars on Dengue to have better understanding or disease and it prevention
02. Clothing Help Fight the Bite
- Try to cover much of your skin by wearing loose-fitting, light colored clothing (as dark color especially black and blue attract mosquito) during day time or when going outdoor, to protect from mosquito bit.
- Don’t wear half sleeves shirts or tights as mosquito can bit through tight fitting clothes.
- Wearing shoes (boots) with socks is ideal than wearing sandals or open shoes
03. Use Some Good Mosquito Repellent
- Use a good mosquito repellent (those containing Picaridin or DEET are thought to be best) on the exposed areas of your skin including hands & feet, cuff & collars to keep away the Aedes aegypti (Vector of Dengue).
- If you don’t want to wear mosquito repellent all the day, apply it at least in dawn and dusk.
- Note: Use these repellent in infants and babies with caution and should not be used in child under two months of age.
- A traditional way to get rid of mosquito and keep them away from you is to keep Ocimum tenuiflorum or tulsi plant in the room. Tulsi plant is a natural mosquito repellent.
04. Mosquito Killer Works Best
- Use a good mosquito killer coil, mat or plug-in devices containing liquid insecticide to kill mosquito. Application of liquid insecticide spray directly on the mosquito kill mosquito effectively. Place mosquito coil or apply spray neat the entrance to the room or home such as doors or windows.
05. Mosquito Net Keep the Vector away
- Although the Aedes aegypti is more active during day time, but still sleeping under mosquito bed net helps to avoid mosquito bit at dawn.
- Make sure that screens or net over the doors and window are in good conditions and have no hole or space to let mosquito enter the room.
06. Vector Control! Just Eliminate the Mosquito form Surrounding
- Vector means the Dengue transmitting mosquito (Aedes aegypti). This mosquito breeds in stagnant water standing in water storage containers, vases, bowels, old tyres. Don’t let the water stand in these places. Try to keep your environment clean and dry.
- Frequently changes the water in vases, bowels and tanks. Cover water containers, bamboo pole holders, cans and buckets as these all are potential sites for dengue mosquito breeding.
- Stagnant water, if not possible to cover or dry, pour kerosene oil to make a thin layer over water prevent the mosquito breeding.
- In swimming pools or larger water tanks which cannot be cover or put kerosene oil in, the vector control can be achieved using Guppy fish (a small mosquito eating fish). Just release some Guppy fishes into the tank and they will eat the dengue mosquito larva.
07. Isolate the Infected Person
- Infected person can be a source of dengue act as a reservoir from where the mosquito can take the germs (dengue virus) and transmit it to you. If (unfortunately) one of your family members is Dengue positive, limit him/her to a separate room and strictly prevent the infected person from mosquito bit as the patient can transmit the virus to mosquito which can be then transmitted to anyone else in the family.