Things we need to know this National Dengue Awareness Month

Did you know that dengue fever is also called break-bone fever because of the severe pain it causes on our bone, muscle and joint? If this is the first time you are learning about this, you need to read on to know why you should be wary of dengue fever.

1. The Philippines is one of the countries most plagued by dengue.

Dengue fever is one of the most fatal epidemics in the country. In 2019, 5.2 million dengue cases were recorded worldwide, the largest record to date. 420,000 cases of which were reported in the Philippines. As of the latest data from the World Health Organization, dengue fever is now endemic in more than 100 countries.

2. Dengue is the world’s fastest growing vector-borne disease.

Mosquitoes are considered vectors or organisms that can spread infectious pathogens from animals to humans, or between humans. As the name implies, vector-borne diseases are transmitted by vectors. Prevention and control of the disease depend on vector control which means keeping mosquitoes at bay is our best defense against dengue.

3. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on the planet .

No, it’s not snakes like what we see in the movies. Mosquitoes kill approximately 725,000 – 1,000,000 people every year by carrying dangerous diseases like Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.

4.You can get dengue fever multiple times.

While it is true that you can get immunity by getting a certain strain of dengue, there are a total of 4 strains of the DENV (dengue virus), which means you are still susceptible to the other 3 strains.

5. There is no specific treatment for dengue.

Science is yet to discover medications for dengue fever. Most symptoms are treated with pain medicine, rest, and lots of fluid intake.

In a country like the Philippines where the climate is tropical, there are measures we should do to avoid getting infected by dengue. We can protect ourselves by using mosquito repellents and coils. Having window screens and mosquito nets at home are also helpful. Dengue doesn’t just attack during the rainy season, so we should all be on guard the whole year round.

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