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Debunking Dengue Fever Myths

When the rainy season comes, it comes with a lot of bacterial and viral infections. Especially comes with a lot of mosquitoes that brings dangerous disease. Mosquitoes are even famous to pass dengue, malaria, and zika virus-like dangerous diseases. Terminating mosquitoes becomes a necessity when they spread the deadly disease. But the question arises, “Do all mosquitoes spread deadly diseases?


Despite being a well-known disease, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding dengue fever that can lead to confusion and misinformation. In this blog post, we will debunk some of the most common dengue fever myths.


Myth or Fact

MYTH 1: DENGUE MOSQUITOES ONLY BREED IN DIRTY AREAS


This is a common misconception. Aedes mosquitos can lay eggs in puddles of water that are just the size of a 20-cent coin. When it comes to dengue in Singapore, common breeding spots within a household tend to be clear stagnant water in flower vases or pots, roof gutters, and bamboo pole holders. They may even lay eggs in pockets of water trapped within hardened soil.


More than ensuring your house is clean, you should regularly check for any areas with stagnant water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding at home. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has come up with this handy acronym: BLOCK, to prevent dengue fever in your house.


MYTH 2: YOU CAN ONLY GET DENGUE ONCE


This is not true. There are four different strains of the dengue virus, and being infected with one strain does not provide immunity against the others. In fact, getting infected with a different strain can increase the risk of developing severe dengue fever. Additionally, persons who are infected a second time may experience worse symptoms compared to their first infection.


MYTH 3: DENGUE FEVER CAN BE CURED WITH ANTIBIOTICS


This is a misconception. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, not viral infections like dengue fever. There is no specific cure for dengue fever, but early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate the symptoms and prevent complications.


MYTH 4: DENGUE FEVER IS CONTAGIOUS


This is not true. Dengue is not transmissible from person to person. It can only be spread by the infected female Aedes mosquito when a person gets bitten by it. The symptoms will normally emerge four to seven days after being bitten.


However, Aedes mosquitos generally would not travel far from their breeding area – typically up to 400 meters. As such, if your family member has been bitten by an infected female Aedes mosquito at home, it’s likely that you’re at risk of dengue fever as well. Make sure to do a sweep of your home to minimise potential breeding spots for dengue mosquitoes to prevent dengue at home.


MYTH 5: DENGUE FEVER CAN BE TREATED WITH PAPAYA LEAF JUICE, TRADITIONAL MEDICINE, OR NATURAL REMEDIES


There is no scientific evidence to support the use of papaya left juice, traditional medicine or natural remedies for the treatment of dengue fever. In fact, some of these remedies can be harmful and may even worsen the symptoms. If you suspect you or your loved ones are suffering from dengue fever or any mosquito-borne diseases, reach out to doctors as soon as possible.


A common old wives’ tale about dengue in Singapore is the medicinal properties of papaya leaf juice for treating dengue. Although it has been observed that papaya leaf juice can help to boost platelet count. It cannot help to treat dengue disease.


There is actually no specific medication or treatment for dengue. Hydration is one of the keys to recovering well from dengue fever.


MYTH 6: All MOSQUITOES CARRY THE DENGUE VIRUS


Not all mosquitoes carry the dengue virus. Only the Aedes mosquito, particularly the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species, are known to transmit the virus.


MYTH 7: DENGUE FEVER IS NOT A SERIOUS ILLNESS


Dengue fever can be fatal if it is not treated properly. Once infected, common symptoms of dengue include high fever; headache; muscle and joint aches. Typically, the fever will last for three to five days.


Symptoms of severe dengue will start 24 – 48 hours after your initial fever has subsided. Watch out for these warning signs, which may indicate that your dengue fever is worsening:

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bleeding from nose, gums; in vomit or stool

  • Fatigue

Severe dengue may lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, which can cause death if not treated. Should you or your loved ones display any signs of severe dengue, go to a hospital immediately for medical attention.

In conclusion, it is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to dengue fever. Understanding the true nature of the disease and how it is transmitted can help prevent its spread and ensure that proper medical attention is sought in case of infection. To avoid the risk of dengue fever, it is important to take preventive measures, such as wearing protective clothing, using mosquito repellent, and removing standing water around your home. Using a DEET-free mosquito repellent, such as jMedGuard Mozzi Mozzi Mosquito Insect Repellent Sanitiser Lotion, is a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, regardless of age.


jMedGuard; Protecting You Always!

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