Dengue Facts And Figures

If there’s one insect that can truly be called a pest, it’s the mosquito. Incredible as it sounds, this tiny insect can cause a host of diseases ranging from malaria, filariasis, yellow fever, and encephalitis (the inflammation of the brain). One of the most common diseases transmitted by mosquitoes is dengue and it’s found in over 40 countries. Since it first appeared in Southeast Asia in the 1950s, dengue outbreaks have increased and have been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Burma, and Thailand. Over 2.5 million people are at risk, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Millions of infections occur yearly and about 500,000 people are hospitalized because of dengue. Ninety-five percent of those affected are children. Not all mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus. There are over 160 different species but only two cause trouble: the Aedes albopictus and more commonly, the Aedes aegypti. Only female mosquitoes bite and they’re active two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset. Mosquitoes normally feast on nectar and plant juices. The female needs blood to nourish its eggs. It becomes infected with the dengue virus when it bites a person suffering from the disease. The infected mosquito then spreads the disease when it bites others. “There is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the dengue virus, therefore people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites,” warned WHO. Dengue mosquitoes like to hide in closets and other dark places. Outside, they prefer cool and shaded areas such as school grounds, park, and malls. The female breeds in anything that holds stagnant water like barrels, drums, old tires, pots, flower vases, bottles, roof gutters, refrigerator drip pans, and other places that collect rainwater. Many factors contribute to the spread of dengue. These include climate changes brought about by the El Nino phenomenon, increasing urban populations, and poverty. Mosquito breeding sites have also increased due to poor water storage and sewage systems, uncollected garbage, and infrastructure projects with stagnant pools. Mass transportation has made it easier for mosquitoes to reach other areas and move infected humans. There are two forms of dengue. Dengue fever is a severe flu-like illness that affects older children and adults but is rarely fatal. It’s characterized by sudden high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes that worsens with movement, and muscle and joint pains. Later, a measles-like rash appears on the chest and upper limbs and there is nausea and vomiting. The more severe form of the disease is dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which is fatal in children. Its symptoms are similar to dengue fever but it causes bleeding from the nose, mouth, and gums and shock leading to death. Other signs of DHF are severe stomach pain, pale, cold or clammy skin, frequent vomiting, sleepiness, excessive thirst, rapid weak pulse, and difficulty in breathing. If you suspect you have dengue or DHF, see a doctor immediately. Up to 20 percent of people with severe dengue or DHF may die if not properly diagnosed and treated. To keep your body strong and healthy, eat right and follow a regular exercise program. To help you lose weight, take Phenocal, a safe, natural, and effective weight loss supplement that boosts your metabolism, suppresses your appetite, reduces food cravings, and increases energy levels to keep you in shape. Published at: