The drive to control dengue continues :

Measures will be taken in the future to announce the names of all schools where dengue-breeding sites are identified. ‘Naming and shaming’ is an effective way to encourage all citizens to keep their premises free from dengue mosquito breeding sites, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe told the Daily News.

According to Dr. Jasinghe, the Health Ministry will take stern action against all dengue breeders in order to save human lives. “In the future, the Health Ministry will announce the names of the institutions with mosquito breeding sites to the public through the media. Then the entire country will get to know who is breeding mosquitoes which in turn spread dengue,” he said.

According to Epidemiology Unit sources, only 58 dengue deaths were reported during the last year. However, the death toll has already exceeded that figure this year. A total of 64 dengue patients (clinically proven) died this year, as of August 30 (Friday) while 42,518 dengue patients have been reported from all parts of the country. The Western Province recorded 19,570 dengue cases which is the highest by August 30.

The highest number of dengue cases (8,839) was reported in the Colombo District while the second-highest number (6,601) was reported in the Gampaha District. The Galle District recorded the third-highest number of dengue cases, which is 4,359. The highest number of dengue cases (8,837) this year was reported in July, the sources said.

Preventing dengue

*Use of mosquito repellents (to be applied every four hours)

*The most popular mosquito repellent is citronella oil. It can be applied by mixing with 50 percent of coconut oil or something similar to reduce the mild burning sensation.

*Adults can use natural or artificial mosquito repellents.

*Mosquito repellents are not suitable for infants below two years.

*Natural mosquito repellents should be used for children between two and five years.

*Mosquito nets should be used while sleeping.

*House screening (windows and doors) using nets or similar material to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.

* Keeping bedrooms, kitchens and toilets well-lit, ventilated and airy to prevent adult female mosquitoes entering the house.

*Special attention should be paid to destroying and cleaning all possible dengue mosquito-breeding sites which hold water, such as gutters, water tanks, refrigerator tray, commode and its water tank regularly (at least once a week). Mopping the floor is a must.

*All plants in the bromeliad family, cut bamboo trees and cavities in trees, etc. should be removed or filled with sand. Wells should be used daily or covered with a net or similar material to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.

*All flower vases with water, ant traps and small ponds, etc. should be removed from homes.

*Garbage, especially used food containers and tyres, etc. should be removed from gardens. Even a tiny pen clip which holds water is adequate for dengue mosquitoes to breed.

*Since dengue mosquitoes cannot travel far away from the breeding site, people should pay attention to keeping their homes and surroundings free of mosquito breeding sites.

If a person suffers from fever

* All those who suffer from fever should seek treatment from a hospital or a qualified doctor immediately.

* Pregnant mothers, infants, the elderly and people who suffer from chronic diseases should seek immediate treatment for fever.

* Home remedies should not be applied for any type of fever even when a few family members are suffering from a viral flu.

* All fever patients should get bed rest. They should not attend work, school, etc.

* Medications such as Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) including Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac Sodium, and Mefenamic Acid, and steroids such as Prednisolone, Methyl-Prednisolone and Dexamethasone should not be taken.

* All fever patients should take Paracetamol only, for other medications cause Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF).

* Fever patients should not take any red or brown-coloured food and beverages, for it makes it difficult for consultants to diagnose DHF.

* A Full Blood Count should be performed within 48 hours and even if the results are normal, the test should be repeated in another 24 hours. Fever patients should not ignore fever even if the fever goes down in a day or two. They must carry out the blood tests after the fever goes down.

If a person suffers from dengue

*The symptoms of DHF are severe pain in the stom­ach, vomiting, bleeding from gums, nose, vagina, etc., red patches on the skin, coldness in hands and legs, less or no urination, paleness, sleepiness, uneasiness, feeling faint, dizziness, etc. Immediate hospitalisation is required for patients.

*Settling of fever alone can deteriorate the nature of dengue. It means that some patients presume that when the fever is cured, they have recovered from dengue. Perhaps not. Patients have to be vigilant and seek frequent treatment until a qualified physician recommends it.

*If a person has the dengue virus inside his or her body even without any visible symptoms such as fever, he or she can transmit the virus to the mosquito and when that mosquito bites a healthy person, he or she becomes infected with dengue. Therefore, dengue patients must be kept inside mosquito nets at all times.

If you have recovered from dengue

* The duration of rest depends on the person’s condi­tion and how she or he feels.

* Such persons should not start their normal routine until they regain their vitality.

* Children who are cured should take adequate rest until they are strong enough to do so.

* Parents should not force such children to attend to sports, tuition classes, etc. if the children do not feel strong enough.

* A person who has recovered from one type of dengue may become infected with any of the three types of dengue at any moment.


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