Dengue Fever Information
At least 20 people have died of Dengue Fever during the recent out break. More then 200 patients are still hospitalized in the city Karachi. Approximately 35 to 50 people suspected of carrying the disease are being admitted to hospital daily in Karachi. Provincial Laborites have identified 250 samples that have tested positive for Dengue Fever.
It’s not a panic like situation but yes, in the last few weeks cases have been increasing on a daily bases.
Prevention is the best method to check the spread of the disease as treatment is limited and no vaccine exist at the moment.
Dengue is an acute flue-like fever caused by virus. It occurs in two forms:
Dengue fever (DF)
Is marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes and pain in the muscles and joints
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)
Is a more severe form in which bleeding and sometimes shock occurs. This can lead to death. It is most serious in children. Symptoms of bleeding usually occur after 2-3 days of fever. The high fever continues for 5-6 days (103-105oF or 39-40oC). It comes down on the third or fourth day but rises again. The patient feels a lot of discomfort and is very weak after the illness.
Recognition of Dengue Fever
· Sudden onset of high fever;
· Severe headache (mostly in the forehead);
· Pain behind the eyes which worsens with eye movement;
· Body aches and joints pains;
· Nausea or vomiting.
Recognition of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.
Symptoms similar to dengue fever, plus any one or combination of the followings
· Severe and continuous pain in the abdomen;
· Bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising;
· Frequent vomiting with or without blood;
· Black stools like coal tar;
· Excessive thirst (dry mouth);
· Pale, cold skin.
Spread of Dengue Fever
Dengue is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito gets the virus by biting an infected person. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after the infected bite.
This mosquito rests indoors, in closets and other dark places. Outside, it rests where it is cool and shaded. The female mosquito lays her eggs in water containers in and around homes, schools and other areas in towns or villages. These eggs become adults in about 10 days.
Prevention of Dengue Fever
All Control efforts should be directed against the mosquitoes. It is important to take control measures to eliminate the mosquitoes and their breeding places. Efforts should be intensified before the transmission season (during and after the rainy season) and during epidemics.
1. Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Dengue Mosquitoes Bite During the Daytime-Protect Yourself from the Bite
- Wear full-sleeve clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs
- Use repellents-care should be taken in using repellents on young children and elders.
- Use mosquito coils and electric vapor mats during the daytime to prevent dengue.
- Use mosquito nets to protect babies, old people and others who may rest during the day. The effectiveness of such nets can be improved by treating them with permethrin (pyrethroid insecticide). Curtains (cloth of bamboo) can also be treated with insecticide and hung at windows or doorways, to repel or kill mosquitoes.
6. Break the cycle of mosquito- human- mosquito infection. Mosquito becomes infected when they bite people who are sick with dengue. Mosquito nets and mosquito coils will effectively prevent more mosquito from biting sick people and help to stop the spread of dengue.
2. Prevent the multiplication of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes which spread dengue live and breed in stagnant water in and around houses.
· Drain out the water from desert/window air and water coolers (when not in use) tanks, barrels, drums, buckets etc.
· Remove all objects containing water (e.g. plant saucers, etc) from the house.
· All stored water containers should be kept covered at all times.
· Collect and destroy discarded containers in which water collects e.g. bottles, plastic bags, tins, tyres etc
· Remove water from Refrigerator drip pans every day
It is important to check school premises regularly for mosquito breeding sites, and:
· throw out old containers that are not needed
· store containers in a dry place
· tip out containers that can hold water.
Dengue mosquitoes breed in containers that hold stagnant water. The dengue mosquito does not breed in rivers, swamps, open drains, creeks or mangroves. These mosquitoes do not like to travel far from mosquito breeding sites. The best form of control is to get rid of dengue mosquito breeding sites. Dengue mosquitoes breed in containers that hold water, such as:
· Tyres – discarded with no rims
· Tarpaulins and black plastic
· Pot plant bases
· Tin cans and plastic containers
· Roof guttering
· Rainwater tanks with damaged or missing screens
· Water features – fountains, frog ponds and bird baths
· Fallen palm fronds
· Worm farm container
· Uncapped fence posts
· Striking containers (to grow plant cuttings)
· Coconut shells.
· Water cooler.
Since there is no effective vaccine against dengue fever at present, the best preventive measure is to inhibit the breeding of mosquitoes and avoid mosquito bites.Schools in high-risk areas should consider routine application of residual insecticide during the Eid break as a pre-emptive measure to minimise dengue risk.During outbreaks, parents should consider applying repellent to children. This is particularly important if the school is in a Dengue Watch Area (where dengue has occured in the last month).
Advise for School children.
1. School children should be provided with health education on all aspect of Dengue Fever. What it is, how is speared, the role of mosquitoes, where & how they breed/rest, and how they can be controlled.
2. School children should be trained on how to detect and eliminate the breeding
of Ae. aegypti in and around the school, in their homes and in the neighborhood.
3. School children should be advised to wear protective clothing - full sleeves
shirts & full pants during day time (during school time as well as before and
Control Measure against Dengue Fever in School.
Both the school authorities and student should remain vigilant against the transmission of dengue fever. Removal of stagnant water is of prime important to the prevention of mosquito breeding the following measures are recommended to school to prevent mosquito breeding and avoid mosquito bites:
- Appoint staff to be responsible for mosquito Prevention and control;
- Inspect at least once a week to ensure there is no accumulated is the school areas and remove the stagnant once found;
- As aededes albopictus likes to lay eggs in small pools of stagnant water refuse such as soft drink cans and empty lunch boxes should be properly disposed’ off in covered litter containers to prevent accumulation of stagnant water.
- Change water for flowers and plants at least once a week. Remove stagnant water in containers like vases, flower pots and buckets where mosquito breed easily;
- Cover tightly all water containers, water storage tanks and wells;
- keep all drains free from chokage;
- level all defective ground surface to avoid accumulation of stagnant water;
- Make large holes on tyres used as anti-bumping measure to prevent accumulation of water, or use marking on parking spaces instead.
- Install mosquito screens, nets and traps where appropriate;
10. Install wire-mesh windows where necessary, for example, in classrooms facing
slopes with shrubs.
11. If mosquito breeding is found at school, school Administration should inform the
The rationale for an infection disease program in the school environment is based on the principles of cleanliness and routine procedures of sanitation and hygiene for preventing the transmission of disease. All school staff using procedure of effective disease control helps to prevent the transmission of infectious disease. In the school environment the risk of exposure can be unpredictable, thus control measure that are simple and uniform across all situation have the greatest likelihood of compliance and success.
1. It should always be kept in mind that, “we would like to make our schools as safe as possible.”
2. To raise awareness of the importance of mosquito prevention at the start of year, the school management should launched a program tailored to the needs of schools, teacher and students.
3. It is of primary importance that no stagnant water be allowed to accumulate on school premises if schools are to eliminate mosquito breeding.
4. It is strongly suggested for schools to set up anti – mosquito patrol team to inspect the school environment at least once weakly and ensure that the school premises are clean and don’t have any mosquito breeding grounds.
Ø Dengue is a serious viral disease transmitted by the bite of the mosquito
Ø Dengue infection occurs in two forms: Dengue fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever;
Ø Dengue fever is a severe flu like illness that affects older children and adults but rarely causes death;
Ø Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a more severe form, in which bleeding and occasionally shock occur, leading to death, mostly in children;
Ø Persons suspected of having dengue fever or DHF must see a doctor at once. Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a deadly disease and early recognition and treatment can save lives.
Ø Unless proper treatment is given promptly, the patient may go into shock and die.
Ø Severe abdominal pains (black stools), bleeding on the skin or from the nose or gums, sweating, cold skin are danger signs. If any one of them is noticed take the patient to a hospital immediately. Give fluids to drink during transfer to the hospital;
Ø Give nutritious food and fluids to drink to the patients;
Ø Dengue mosquitoes bite during the day;
Ø The patient should be kept under a mosquito net or in a screened room during the period of illness;
Ø Screen your rooms against mosquitoes or use mosquito nets or use mosquito repellent;
Ø Discard objects in which water collects, e.g. tins, cans, coconut shells, etc. Do not allow water to collect in pits around your houses. All stored water containers should be covered all the time. This will prevent breeding of Dengue mosquitoes, and
Doctors and health workers treating cases of dengue fever should also notify the health authorities.