Did You Know!

There are three main types of Mosquito breeds found in Singapore. They are the Aedes Mosquito, Anopheles Mosquito and the Culex Mosquito. Mosquitoes are known to spread vector-borne diseases. However, not all mosquitoes spread dengue. The only culprit is the Aedes Mosquito. Apart from dengue, this bugger is also responsible for the spread of chikungunya and Zika viruses. However, the virus that causes a lot of trouble is dengue.

Being a tropical country, Singapore does not experience the four seasons. Therefore, the sun is always out and there is always rain. The hot and wet environment makes a fantastic breeding ground for mosquitoes. Clad with white markings on the legs and the thorax, the Aedes mosquito transmits the dengue virus by biting the host. This results in dengue fever. The virus causes the body to bleed easily and in severe cases, affect other organ systems.

Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever

There are common onset symptoms that you can look out for if you suspect you or any members in your family might be having dengue. The symptoms are:

  • Sudden Fever which is above 38.5 deree celcius
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes that appear a few days after the onset of fever which itches a lot especially on the palms and the feet
  • Mild Bleeding from the nose, gums or other parts of the body
  • Easy bruising from minor knocks and bump

In some case, the symptoms can get worse and cause abdominal pain, hemorrhage and circulatory collapse. This is known as dengue shock syndrome (DSS) or otherwise known as dengue hemorrhagic fever.

If you or your family members especially young children, exhibit any of the above symptoms, immediately seek medical attention. With a simple blood test, the health care professionals can determine if it is dengue or not.

Treatment and Tips to Manage Dengue Fever

Antibiotics cannot be used to treat the infection as it is viral. The doctor can only treat the symptoms with medication. Do not take or give any medication without the doctor’s advice. Avoid aspirin or other medications that can affect platelet function. This can increase the risk of bleeding.

It is very important to stay hydrated and rest a lot. Children between 11kg and 40kg should drink at least 1L of fluid a day. Those weighing more than 40kg should have at least 2L of fluid in a day. For some who cannot keep their fluids in, they might have to be hospitalised to be put on IV drips. Prevent activities that can cause bleeding such as sports or rigorous exercises. Avoid brushing your teeth and traumatising your nose when your platelet counts drop below the normal level.

Let’s Eradicate the Aedes Mosquito Together.

There are no vaccines available against dengue. Therefore, prevention is the key to reduce the spread of dengue. The best method is to eradicate the little critters that spread the virus. Now, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and love cluttered dark places. Therefore, here are some ways to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes:

  • Change the water in flower vases regularly in your homes
  • Turn over and keep water storage containers such as pails, dry when not in use in the bathroom
  • Cover rarely used gully traps and install anti-mosquito valves
  • Cover all containers storing water in the kitchen
  • Clear the water from dish trays
  • Cover bamboo pole holders
  • Flip empty and srub flowerpot plates thoroughly on alternate days to remove the mosquito eggs
  • Loosen harden soil in potted plants
  • Remove unwanted things that might collect rainwater
  • Keep scupper drains free from any obstruction
  • Spray insecticide in dark corners around your home at times

In Singapore, the NEA ( National Environment Agency) conducts regular checks to keep the spread of dengue under control. It uses the Dengue Community Alert System to provide regular information to the residents of the situation in the area. If you are found harbouring the fugitive, you might be liable to a $200 fine. Therefore, let’s keep vigilant and work towards keeping our environment mosquito free.

Reference taken from the following sites:

https://www.moh.gov.sg/diseases-updates/dengue

https://www.nea.gov.sg/dengue-zika

https://www.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/dengue-zika-pdf/dengue-home-flyer.pdf

https://www.gov.sg/news/content/today-online-fine-for-all-homes-found-breeding-mosquitoes

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