Dengue returns with the heat: how to prevent it

Dengue returns with the heat: how to prevent it

According to data from the Pan American Health Organizationin the year 2022 the cases of dengue in it Southern Cone of America: 2,330,228 were registered, while in 2021 9,096 had been registered. Given this, it is important to develop prevention strategies. The Dr. Paola Caro affirms that it is essential that when faced with symptoms of dengue, the person do not self-medicate and consult the doctor to be prescribed the appropriate medication. It also stresses that the best way to fight against dengue is remove all mosquito breeding sites both inside and outside the house: cans, bottles, tires, pieces of plastic and canvas, cut drums, etc. “These containers must be eliminated; and if this is not possible, they should be prevented from accumulating water, turning them over (buckets, basins, drums) or emptying them permanently (pot holders, drinking fountains)”, considers Caro.

Contrary to what is believed, the fumigation is not a permanent solution nor the most effective to eliminate mosquitoes or prevent the diseases they transmit. “Although in hot weather, fumigation helps to reduce insects, it is necessary to know that it only kills part of the adult mosquitoes and does not affect the larvae, pupae, and eggs. For this reason, it is mainly used as a control measure in the event of a health emergency, that is, when a suspected case of Zika, dengue or chikungunya appears,” Caro remarks. He also notes that once the insecticide hits the ground or evaporates, it no longer has an effect on mosquitoes.

In turn, he adds that to prevent mosquito bites, they can be placed mosquito nets on the windows and doors of homes and using repellents on exposed skin and clothing with applications every 3 hours. Finally, he remarks that “in summer, first apply sunscreen and after about 20 minutes, repellent.”

Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by mosquito bites. Temples of the Egyptians, which becomes a vector when it feeds on the blood of a person sick with dengue and then bites other people”, explains Caro. The specialist clarifies that contagion only occurs through the bite of infected mosquitoes, never from one person to another. Infected people have the virus in their bloodstream from 1 day before and up to 5 or 6 days after the onset of fever.

Regarding the symptoms, dengue can be clinically inapparent or can cause a disease of varying intensity since it is “a systemic and very dynamic disease, with an incubation period that can be 5 to 7 days,” according to the specialist.

Las symptomatic infections They can range from mild forms of the disease, which manifests as acute fever that can last from 2 to 7 days, to limited duration (2 to 7 days); to other more intense forms: intense general malaise, headache, nausea-vomiting, intense fatigue, retro-ocular pain, muscle pain, joint pain, itching, and digestive symptoms such as mild abdominal pain and even diarrhea.

In a 50% of cases the symptoms can be accompanied by a skin rash. Some cases of dengue can even evolve into severe forms in which there are hemorrhagic manifestations and can lead to shock..

Factors such as climate change and the production of disposable containers that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes have transformed dengue into a public health problem worldwide. In this context, the National Ministry of Health reported that -until January 8- no dengue viral circulation was registered in any locality of the country.

In it National epidemiological bulletin No. 635 SE 1/2023 indicated that during the second half of 2022 no autochthonous cases of dengue were reported until December, when four cases were confirmed (two in CABA and two in Córdoba Capital). However, these cases should be taken as an alert about the presence of the virus in the country. The stage of the year favors the spread of the virus: high temperatures and great mobility of people inside and outside the country.

by RN

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