Tips on how to prevent dengue fever
- use insect repellent
- wear loose but protective clothing – mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothes; trousers, long-sleeved shirts, and socks and shoes (not sandals) are ideal
- sleep under a mosquito net – ideally one that has been treated with insecticide
- be aware of your environment – preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification
- eliminate the vector by
– changing water and scrubbing sides of lower vases once a
– keep water containers covered.
– proper disposal of rubber tires, empty bottles and cans.
- Avoid too many hanging clothes inside the house.
In late 2015, the first dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV) by Sanofi Pasteur, was registered in several countries for use in individuals 9-45 years of age living in endemic areas.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Because dengue is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it, the only treatment is to treat the symptoms. For typical dengue, the treatment is purely concerned with relief of the symptoms (symptomatic). Rest and fluid intake for adequate hydration is important
For severe dengue, medical care by physicians and nurses experienced with the effects and progression of the disease can save lives – decreasing mortality rates from more than 20% to less than 1%. Maintenance of the patient’s body fluid volume is critical to severe dengue care.
After being bitten by a mosquito carrying the dengue virus, the incubation period ranges from 3 to 14 (usually 4 to 7) days before the signs and symptoms of dengue appear. Dengue occurs in two forms:
1) Dengue Fever (DF)
2) Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF)
- All previous symptoms of dengue fever
- severe tummy (abdominal) pain
- persistent vomiting and vomiting blood
- bleeding gums or bleeding under the skin
- breathing difficulties or fast breathing
- cold, clammy skin
- a weak but fast pulse
- drowsiness or loss of consciousness
Life Stages of Aedes Mosquitoes
•• Adult, female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the inner, wet walls of containers with water, above the waterline.
•• Eggs are very hardy; they stick to the walls of a container
like glue and can survive drying out for up to 8 months
•• Larvae emerge from mosquito eggs, but only after the
water level rises to cover the eggs. This means that
rainwater or humans adding water to containers with eggs
will trigger the larvae to emerge.
•• Larvae feed on microorganisms in the water. After molting
three times, the larva becomes a pupa.
•• Pupae will develop until the body of the newly formed
adult flying mosquito emerges from the pupal skin and
leaves the water.
•• After adult mosquitoes emerge: male mosquitoes feed
on nectar from flowers and female mosquitoes feed on
humans and animals for blood to produce eggs.
•• After feeding, female mosquitoes will look for water
sources to lay more eggs.
•• Aedes aegypti only flies a few blocks during its life.
•• Unlike other mosquito species, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
prefer to bite people.
•• Aedes aegypti mosquitoes prefer to live near people. They
can be found inside homes, buildings, and businesses
where window and door screens are not used or doors are
left propped open.
History of Dengue in Malaysia
In November 15, 1902,Skae reported the first known published account of an outbreak of dengue in Malaya. He described a dengue outbreak in the northern state of Penang from December 1901 to March 1903. Severe dengue (Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever) was first observed in Malaya in the city of Georgetown, Penang in November 1962.
From the 1960s dengue cases began to spread into the urban areas of Penang and Kuala Lumpur. By the early 1970s, DHF had spread to the whole Malaysia and has since caused a significant health burden to the population in Malaysia.
Epidemiology of Dengue in Malaysia
In Malaysia, dengue is predominantly an urban disease due to the abundance of the principle vector Aedes aegypti which is at a close proximity to high densities of susceptible hosts. The states of Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur and Johor are the areas that have been largely affected by the disease and are reporting high numbers of cases.
Factors like population growth in urban areas, the indiscriminate disposal of waste coupled with the lack of efficient solid waste management and the increased and efficient movement of dengue viruses in infected humans through modern transportation have all contributed to the marked increase in the occurrence of dengue.
After reporting 120 836 dengue fever cases in 2015 , the highest number of cases reported, Malaysia appears to be continuing that trend with summer upon us and the health ministry has reported nearly 50,000 cases through the first five months on 2016.
From Jan. 1 through May 31, Malaysia has seen 49,830 dengue fever cases, with greater than half reported from Selangor State (26,704). Johor state has seen 6800 cases followed by Kuala Lumpur with 3400. Through mid-May, 109 dengue related fatalities have been reported.
Dengue is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. It’s widespread in many parts of the world. In most people the infection is mild and passes in about a week without causing any lasting problems. But in rare cases it can be very serious and potentially life threatening.
There’s no specific treatment or widely available vaccine for dengue, so it’s important to try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when visiting an area where the infection is found.
Four closely related viruses cause dengue fever. The viruses are transmitted fromAedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to humans in a viral life cycle that requires both humans and these mosquitoes. There is no human-to-human dengue fever transmission. The viruses belong to the Flaviviridae family and have an RNA strand as its genetic makeup. Virologists term them dengue virus types 1-4 (DENV 1-4). All four serotypes are closely related. However, there are enough antigenic differences between them that if a person becomes immune to one serotype, the person can still be infected by the other three serotypes The best way to prevent dengue fever is to prevent the bites from infected mosquitoes.
The Dengue Patrol programme which was launched initially in 2011 as a pilot programme is part of Sanofi Pasteur’s ongoing commitment to take proactive measures to intensify awareness on dengue and involve public participation, especially from the younger generation. In line with the government’s aim to educate and create public awareness on various health matters, the Dengue Patrol programme is aimed at advocating prevention against this disease and spearheading dengue prevention activities in the respective school’s immediate communities.
The objectives of Dengue Patrol Programme are to intensify awareness on dengue and improve public education. This programme aims to recruit students nationwide to form Dengue Patrols in their respective schools to initiate activities that encourage the prevention of dengue and protection against Aedes mosquitoes. The Dengue Patrol programme 2016 features about three months long campaign with activities relating to dengue health awareness and dengue health education that will be supervised by the selected teacher advisor.