What is Dengue?
Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus affecting more than 390 million people each year. While the disease is generally mild, it can be deadly. Recent research shows dengue is between 100 and 800 years old. It likely originated in Africa or Southeast Asia and was then carried to other parts of the world through travel and trade. In recent years, dengue has spread to over 100 countries. Now, travelers to popular destinations like Brazil and India could contract the disease. The virus is also known as ‘breakbone fever’ due to its symptoms.
Contact us for more information on how to prevent dengue and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
- High Fever
- Severe Headache
- Severe Eye Pain
- Joint Pain
- Muscle and/or Bone Pain,
- Easy Bruising, Mild Nose or Gum Bleeding
- Low White Cell Count.
- Severe Abdominal Pain
- Persistent Vomiting
- Red Spots or Patches On Skin
- Vomiting Blood
- Black, Tarry Stools
- Drowsiness or Irritability
- Pale, Cold or Clammy Skin
- Difficulty Breathing
Most people infected have mild or no symptoms. About 1 in 4 people infected with dengue will get sick. Mild symptoms of dengue may be confused with other illnesses that cause fever and flu-like illness. Most people will recover after about one week. Therefore, people should know how to prevent dengue and its dangerous effect.
How is Dengue transmitted?
Dengue virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. There is no direct person to person spread. The mosquito, Aedes albopictus, a vector known to transmit the disease, can be found in Hong Kong. It likes to sting during daytime, especially 2 hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset.
If you are sick with dengue
- Take acetaminophen or paracetamol to control fever and relieve pain. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- During the first week of infection, dengue virus can be found in your blood. If a mosquito bites you, it can become infected and spread the virus to other people through bites. To help prevent others from getting sick, protect yourself from mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
- Rest in a screened or air-conditioned room or under a bed net while you have a fever.
How to prevent Dengue Fever?
At present, there is no effective vaccine on how to prevent dengue fever. Therefore, the best preventive measures are to:
1. Prevent mosquitoes from breeding:
Removal of stagnant water is the best way to mosquito elimination. As the eggs of Aedes albopictus are resistant to dry weather, we should take the following measures to eliminate mosquito and remove stagnant water at all times:
- Cover water containers, wells and water tanks tightly.
- Keep drains free from blockage.
- Change the water in vases and for aquatic plants at least once a week and leave no water in the saucers underneath flower pots.
- Throw unwanted containers where water could accumulate (such as lunch boxes and soft-drink cans) into a covered bin.
- Top up uneven surfaces of the floor to prevent water from accumulating.
2. Prevent mosquito bites:
- Wear light-colored and long-sleeved clothing and trousers;
- Apply mosquito repellents containing DEET to exposed parts of the body;
- Use mosquito nets or screens when the room is not air-conditioned;
- Avoid visiting scrubby area; and
- Install screens on windows and doors.