Dengue fever has just claimed 20 lives in Burkina Faso, a West African country. Dengue fever is a very old disease, first recognised in China about two thousand years ago. It is common in South -East Asia and the Pacific region but also occurs in North America, Africa, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean region.  
 
What is Dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a virus and characterised by high fever, body pains, severe headache, bleeding into the skin and/or nose bleeds.The fever is more important to us today because its symptoms are similar to those of Ebola fever. Both have no cure, only supportive treatment is available. Death from dengue is also high but spread is not as rapid as that of Ebola fever. Occasionally epidemics of the disease occur.
 
 
What causes dengue fever?
Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus; there are four types of dengue virus.
 
 How does dengue fever spread? 
Dengue fever is spread by female mosquitoes- Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.The latter is said to be more incriminated in Nigeria; the last case of Dengue reported recently is linked to this mosquito.
The mosquito bites man during daytime, carries the virus if the man is infected and may pass it on to any other person it bites.
Occasionally, a pregnant woman may pass the virus to the baby in her womb.
 
Who can be affected by dengue fever?. 
Dengue fever affects infants, children and adults.
Those living in areas where rainfall is high are more at risk because it encourages mosquito breeding and the temperature shortens the development period of the virus to make it dangerous.
Another group at risk consists of those who live in the same house with someone with dengue fever.
The spread of the disease is also facilitated by the presence of the infected mosquito where large number of people occupies a place at the same time such as cinema houses, hospitals, offices, hospitals, schools and factories.
A few mosquitoes could bite a lot of people.
 
Symptoms and signs of dengue fever.
Dengue fever is characterised by high fever, severe headache, body pains, nose bleeds, skin bleeds, and shock.
 
Prevention 
The disease can be prevented in two ways;
    a. you can deal with the mosquito by preventing it from breeding; any thing that can contain water like spoilt tyres, bottles, dead leaves, open gutters, unused ponds should be discouraged and discarded if possible.
    b.you can prevent mosquito bites by wearing long sleeved dresses, and trousers especially if going to places where there will be a lot of people. 
 
 
 

 

 

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