The Sunday Leader

Fighting Dengue

The dengue mosquito Aedes Aegypti black in colour, with banded legs and lyre shape white bands on its thorax, is the vector of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever in Asia.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by a group of virus that belongs to the genus flavivirus. Aedes aegypti prefers to breed indoors, in clean, stagnant water. Its life cycle is short. It takes about seven days to develop from an egg to an adult mosquito. Females bite anytime between sunrise and sunset, the peak biting time occurring early morning and late afternoon.

What are the key points of dengue?

Dengue is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, with no direct human to human transmission, and is present in all tropical parts of world, both urban and rural. There is year-round transmission, but the rainy season increases mosquito breeding.

What are the signs and symptoms of dengue?
High fever (3-7 days), intense headache, painful joints and muscles, pain behind eyes and often a rash. As fever reduces, dangerous complications can occur such as hemorrhagic or shock syndrome, bleeding under skin, gums, nose or in vomit. Clammy skin, cold and sweaty extremities, drowsiness, and/or restlessness are the other symptoms.

How to prevent mosquito bites?

Use a mosquito repellent when outdoors during daytime.  Use fly wire/screening on doors and windows. Use mosquito coils or vapour mats and mosquito nets for children or elderly who sleep during the day. As none of these are effective by themselves, use a combination.

What if I get dengue fever?

There is no specific treatment – no curative drug is available. Use supportive care such as pain relief, drink fluids, and rest. Use paracetamol. Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen.
Rush patient to hospital as soon as you notice the symptoms — high fever with bleeding, blood spots under the skin, bleeding from gums, nose bleeding, vomiting blood.

The 4d’s to fight the bite:

DRAIN: Many mosquito problems in your neighbourhood are likely to arise from water-filled containers that you can help to eliminate. All mosquitoes require water in which to breed. Be sure to drain any standing water around your house. Breeding areas include stagnant water such as in flower vases, uncovered barrels, buckets and discarded tyres, but the most dangerous areas are wet shower floors and toilet bowls, as they allow the mosquitoes to breed right in the residence.

DEFEND: Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Registered products have been reviewed, approved, and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label directions.

DRESS: Wear light colour loose fitting clothing. Most of the deadly mosquito species are attracted to dark clothing and some can bite through tight-fitting clothes. When practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
DESTROY:  Adultacide spraying, larvacide spraying, fogging treatment, Mosqi Mist Blower treatment and Ultra Low Volume treatment are effective.
Exterminators (Pvt) Ltd., Sri Lanka’s premier award winning pest control company believes that it’s the responsibility of the company as the recognized leader in the pest management industry in Sri Lanka to take the initiative to fight the dengue epidemic.
Exterminators is affiliated to the American Mosquito Control Association and also the team has undergone special training on mosquito control and dengue Prevention in Singapore organized by the National Environment Agency. Exterminators’ “STOP DENGUE” campaign carries out awareness, educational and training programmes, street dramas, posters, and broaches. Posters, handbills, and stickers could be collected from branches at Hyde Park Corner, Battaramulla, Kandy, Galle, Kurunegala, Matara, Wattala and Jaffna branch for educational and training programmes for schools.

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