It has been reported in much of Phuket’s media recently that cases of Dengue Fever are on the increase, with one death and more than 150 cases being reported this year to date.
In view of this, Phuketindex.com are letting you know exactly what Dengue Fever is, where it comes from, what the symptoms are and how we can avoid being infected, with what can turn into a very serious illness.
How is the infection transmitted?
Dengue is very common in tropical urban areas and the virus is transmitted by a human being bitten by an infected mosquito, usually of the Aedes aegypt variety, recognisable by white markings on their legs.
It is only the females who bite for blood, as this is needed to mature her eggs and they will usually bite at dusk or dawn but can bite at any time during the day, more so when it’s cloudy. The mosquito will pass on Dengue after it becomes infected when taking blood from a person already infected.
Where are these mosquitoes found?
Mosquitoes have a tendency of reproducing in areas where stagnant water lays such as in old tyres, buckets, flower vases, wet shower floors, toilet tanks or uncovered water storage containers, things which are unfortunately common around much of Phuket.
Who can be infected with Dengue Fever?
Anyone of us can be infected with Dengue Fever. According to statistics from The World Health Organization 2.5 billion people (over 40% of the world’s population) are at risk. And there are around 50-100 million infections (1 million confirmed) each year resulting in 500,000 hospitalisations and 20,000 deaths. However, as a warning the majority of more severe cases occur in children under the age of 15.
What are the symptoms?
The virus can leave an infected person with a variety of symptoms such as a fever with temparatures ranging from 102 to 105°F, rashes, nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle pain and in more severe cases even skin bleeding.
What are the treatments?
Unfortunately, there are currently no drugs that can neither help with nor prevent Dengue. The only way in which the condition can be managed is by early diagnosis, careful monitoring and treatment. Dehydrated patients should be rehydrated either orally or intravenously and patients with a high fever above 39°C should be prescribed paracetamol.
What should you do if you think you have Dengue?
If you do think that you may have dengue fever visit a physician immediately.
How can we prevent being infected?
There are a number of simple measures which can be taken to prevent infection of dengue fever. Wear long trousers and tops with long sleeves during the most at risk times (dusk and dawn), make sure you and your children use a good quality repellent, use bed nets when necessary, regularly empty and clean water storage containers and make sure they’re covered.
Nobody is immune from catching Dengue Fever so please make sure you take measures to protect yourselves and your children from being infected. If you believe you’re suffering from symptoms of Dengue seek medical advice immediately.