Dengue Fever is Dangerous Mosquitoes are more than Pests
Why is the Threat of Dengue Important to the BVI? • Dengue is important to us because it is a serious illness; it is on the increase in the Caribbean and in this territory. For the first time the most deadly form of dengue fever, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever has been found to be in the territory. • Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever can cause DEATH.
Dangerous Dengue is on the Increase • Dengue is a dangerous illness, it can cause much suffering, and in some cases death. Over the past decade the Caribbean region has been experiencing increased cases of dengue. • In 1980 the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre reported 20 cases (people) with dengue fever. • By 1990 this had increased to 616; by 1995 increased to 5,087,and in 1998 to 5,794. • To date more than 15,000 cases had been reported in the Caribbean.
What is Dengue Fever ? • Dengue Fever is an illness that results from contracting the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito that is carrying the virus. • There are four types of dengue viruses. When a person has had one type of dengue virus infection once in his/her life, and later gets infected with another type of dengue virus, that person is in danger of getting Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.This fever can kill.
Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever • Abrupt onset of high fever • Severe frontal headache • Pain behind the eyes which worsens with eye movement • Muscle and joint pains • Loss of sense of taste and appetite • Measles-like rash over chest and upper limbs • Nausea and vomiting
Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Symptoms similar to dengue fever plus: • Frequent vomiting with or without blood • Internal bleeding which can lead to shock • Difficulty in breathing. This fever can be difficult to treat, and in some cases even with the best medical care people die. Do not wait, see a doctor immediately. It is crucial to quickly treat anyone with these complications
How is Dengue Spread ? Dengue is spread when the female Aedes aegypti mosquito bites an infected person, it sucks up the blood with the virus and passes this virus onto the next person she bites for more blood. In this way the mosquito becomes a carrier of the dengue virus. We call these carriers of disease and illness “vectors”
How can we prevent Dengue from spreading? There is no vaccine to protect us from Dengue. We must, therefore, protect ourselves by avoiding the infection. The only way of becoming infected is through the bite of the mosquito that is carrying the virus.
We avoid dengue, when we can avoid mosquito bites The Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus, likes to lay her eggs in water near or in our homes. She enjoys living near to humans, her convenient blood supply. Anything that holds water can be a mosquito-breeding site. Therefore, the best way of protecting your family and community from dengue fever is to destroy all the places in which the mosquito can lay eggs, breed more young mosquitoes, increase their number, and so spread dengue to more persons when they bite them for their blood. Here are some actions you can take to rid your home and community of mosquito breeding sites.
Mosquito proof your Cistern • Screen Outlets (use 18” screening/mesh wire) • Screen Down spouts from the roof • Seal points of entry of pipe into cistern • Place small fish in your cisterns for these eat the mosquito larvae (wrigglers)
Mosquito Proof Ground Level Water Tanks • Ensure the cover fits tightly; this prevents adult mosquitoes from entering and laying eggs. • Repair broken manhole covers. • Plug overflow holes – located under the cover of Black Rotoplastic tanks.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding in Flower and Plant Pots • Change the water-pots holding your plants or cut flowers at least once a week. • Drain flower pots – flowerpots should have holes for drainage • Plants should ideally be grown in a mixture of sand and water or... • Use damp soil instead of water for growing plants. • Keep the saucers of flower pots dry
Prevent Mosquito Breeding inside your House and Yard • Throw out the water in your draining pan under your refrigerator at least once per week • Clean and scrub your dish drainers at least once per week • Toilet flush tanks should be inspected and cleaned at least once per week and always kept tightly covered • Keep surroundings clean and get rid of containers which may hold even the tiniest amount of water e.g. tins, old tires, old pans, bottles, etc.
Actions to take • Punch holes in tins before disposal • Get rid of derelict vehicles • Ornamental pools and fountains should be regularly drained and scrubbed, chlorinated, and/or stocked with guppies (fish). • Swimming pools should be kept clean, filtered, and in good condition.
Community Actions • Community members can work together to: Keep the environment clean e.g. de-bush empty lots • Keep gullies/ghuts and drains clean • Monitor and destroy any other mosquito breeding places.
Personal Protection People can further protect themselves from mosquito bites by using: • Mosquito coils • electric vapor mats • Mosquito repellent sprayed on skin • Screen windows and doors • sleep under mosquito proof bed nets • Close windows late evenings and early mornings • Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeve shirts, long pants, and thick (bobby) socks during day time. It is also advisable to avoid wearing dark colours.
Community & Government -Partners in Dengue Prevention Every government takes the responsibility for keeping public places free of garbage and “junk” that can become mosquito-breeding places. Your Government provides us with information on how we can act to protect yourself, and assist us as much as possible. But, no Department of Health, no government, can come into our homes and workplaces and stop mosquitoes from biting us. Only we can do this. The government cannot stop the mosquito from breeding in our flowerpots or debris left strewn in our yards. Only we can do this. If we are serious and determined, we can ensure that mosquitoes have no place to breed more mosquitoes to bite us and give us dengue fever. So Search and Destroy mosquito breeding places at home and work
THANK YOU You’re welcome!