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Join The Fight Against Dengue Fever Dengue-Fever-Symptoms-and-Prevention-Pic

Photo credit: sg.yahoo.com 

With over 7000 cases this year, Singapore is currently facing what could be its worst dengue outbreak to date, with numerous clusters in the Eastern regions of the island.

What is Dengue fever?

Dengue fever is an illness caused by infection with the Dengue virus, transmitted by the Aedes mosquito (above). Dengue fever and Dengue haemorrhagic fever (a more severe form) may manifest itself in a range of severities, from mild to fatal.

There are four serotypes of the Dengue virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4), all of which cause dengue fever.

Symptoms of dengue fever include:

  •  Sudden onset of fever (2-7 days)
  • Severe headache with retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums or easy bruising in the skin

Source: Ministry of Health 

If a person has been previously infected by one type, he or she would usually develop a life-long immunity to that particular serotype, but not the other three.

However, if that person is subsequently infected a second time, but by a different serotype, the chances of serious dengue fever become much higher.

The spike in cases this year may be attributed to a "serotype switch", where the dominant circulating strain of dengue virus has recently changed from DEN-2 to DEN-1. This means that people will be more vulnerable to severe dengue fever.

 

How Do I Protect Myself Against Dengue?

The best way for all members of the public to protect themselves against dengue fever is to eradicate possible mosquito breeding habitats such as stagnant water in and near their homes.

A national campaign, "Do the Mozzie Wipe Out", was launched on 28 April 2013 to encourage the community to do their part in preventing the spread of dengue.

Practice the "10-minute 5-step Mozzie Wipe-out" regularly to remove mosquito breeding habitats and fight dengue:

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  1. Change the water in vases/bowls on alternate days.
  2. Remove water from flower pot plates on alternate days.
  3. Turn over all water storage containers.
  4. Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use.
  5. Clear blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly.

Source: http://www.dengue.gov.sg/cms/ehd/home.asp 

Click on the following links to get more facts about dengue fever and learn how you can fight it:

Oral Reply by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources to Parliamentary Question on the Recent Spike in Dengue Cases

Greater vigilance against mosquito breeding grounds needed with increase in dengue cases

Increasing Vigilance Against Dengue

Keeping Dengue Cases Low

Dengue Virus Surveillance for Early Warning, Singapore, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 16, No. 5, May 2010

Dengue Fever 

 

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