LIFE

Weeding out Dengue

THE HEALTH Department has come out with awareness literature on the various types of Dengue infection which is transmitted by the `Aedes Aegypti' family of mosquitoes. There is Dengue fever, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and the Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). The DHF variety is highly fatal, particularly in children.

All it takes is a mosquito-bite from the vectors, also called "Tiger Mosquitoes'', to bring down the healthiest of humans with an infection. These mosquitoes usually hunt for blood during the day. Those that harbour the virus turn infective in eight to ten days.

The Tiger mosquitoes breed in clean water. By virtue of this habit, the mosquitoes can make breeding habitat of household inventory ranging from water coolers, flower vases and empty vessels to jars and refrigerators. They also lay eggs inside wedges of trees.

Some of the features of Dengue fever, also known as "Break Bone Fever'', are sudden rise in temperature, a splitting headache, ache in the posterior of the eyeballs, myalgia and loss of appetite.

In cases of DHF, the symptoms will extend to acute stomach pain, nasal and oral bleeding, vomiting of blood and breathing difficulties.

By the way, the human body does not have a natural defence mechanism against Dengue and no vaccine exists for the disease, you are told.

The preventive measures hinge only on mosquito population control and denying them breeding sites. Avoidance of stagnant pools of water in the compound and refilling water-coolers frequently are among the tips.

By Dinesh Varma M.

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