You may already know some of these tips but they remain effective (and are worth repeating) as critical factors continue to allow the dengue virus to thrive and take human lives. These are some of the more practical tips I learned from my community nursing stint a lifetime ago.
Get rid of stagnant water.
Check gutters, empty bottles and cans, puddles in the toilet, trash, flower vases, dish drains and keepers, utensils, toothbrushes, wet rags, mop buckets, pet food and water dishes, and clogged waterways. The dengue mosquito (Aedes aegypti) hatches in stagnant water.
Dengue fever doesn’t affect cats and dogs
The dengue virus can be transferred by an infected mosquito to your pets but the virus only affects some primates and humans. They can save you from a dengue bite but they can also get other diseases from mosquitoes so you have to watch out.
Dengue mosquitoes are low-flying.
You’ll be in a better position (literally) if you stay in your home’s upper floor during the day.
They bite most during dawn and dusk
They bite at night, too, if there’s enough light. Protect your legs by wearing pants or pajamas in your sleep. Always have an insect repellent within reach.
Donate blood to your nearest Red Cross every 3 months.
If you do this, they’ll give you a blood donor card. You will be put in the priority list so when you or anyone you know needs some blood supply, you can get it easier.
Dengue mosquitoes enjoy places where the sun don’t shine.
Check areas under the sink, under the bed, curtains, cabinets, storage rooms, basically the nooks and crannies of your home. Kill them all!
High fever is not an illness in itself.
If there’s fever, there’s an underlying cause. Don’t just take paracetamol or ibuprofen or mefenamic acid or any temperature-controlling over-the-counter drug. See a doctor. Dengue can lead to death, but only if not diagnosed early.
Eggs of the Aedes aegypti can survive up to 6 months without hatching.
Clean your home regularly. Your life is worth the effort.
Note: The DOH has not approved the use of the herb Tawa-tawa for dengue. Research has yet to prove its potency against the virus. But, there are positive anecdotal claims.