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Understanding Dengue Fever

Why are mosquitoes attracted to some people than other?

Dengue fever is an infection caused by a virus called Dengue virus. There are four different type of this virus, Dengue type 1, 2, 3 and 4.  A person can only be infected with each type once in their life. The virus is spread when a female Aedes mosquito bites an infected person and then bites other people.
The female mosquito bites only to obtain blood from its source to provide iron and other nutrients needed for the development and maturation of its eggs. The belief is true; mosquitoes do prefer to snack on some people than others. 

 There are three distinct reasons,
1· Carbon dioxide - producing more carbon dioxide and lactic acid will cause a mosquito to be more attracted to you.  So the reason we always hear a mosquito buzzing at our ear is because as we breathe out the carbon dioxide from our nostril, and they follow that track at the angel of the ear. With that said, a pregnant woman is more attracted to a mosquito since she will emit more CO2.
2· Body temperature – producing greater body heat will attract mosquitoes, especially if you have a chemical blood type marker. So persons with type O blood type are 24% more attractive to a mosquito.
3· Sweating – sweating excessively means that your body temperature is very high and this will attract a mosquito to you. Children are always victims since they are always busy playing and running about. Additional persons who sweat easily and very physical and active individuals.
When infected with a dengue virus you may develop Dengue Fever or Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (severe form of Dengue which often causes death).  Here are some signs and symptoms,
1.      Sudden onset of high fever and severe headache.
2.      Pain behind the eye, muscle, bone or joint pain.
3.      Skin rash, vomiting or feeling to vomit.
N: B for Dengue Haemorragic Fever, in severe cases patients may go into a shock called Dengue Shock Syndrome. In additional they may experience fainting, difficulty breathing, bleeding from nose, mouth or gum, stomach pain and skin bruising.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding is to prevent them from having access to water.
·        Keep all water holding or storage container closed
·        Brush your premises regularly, since mosquitoes can breed in water on the grass leaves.
·        Clean all drains and trenches to allow water to flow easily.
·        Pour cooking oil and other oil in areas where water settles.
·        Package, store and dispose of water properly. E.g. punch holes in tins.

In case you feel you have dengue visit your doctor immediately, rest and drink a lot of fluids. Use Paracetamol pain killers only; do not use pain killers such as Aspirin or medications that have Aspirin in them, since they may increase your risk of bleeding.

Do you have measures in place to protect yourself and your family from Dengue Fever? 

13 Comments to Understanding Dengue Fever:

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Delsie on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 1:56 PM
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Donnalee on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:29 AM
Very informative. We try to rid the area of mosquito breeding sites by removing cans and all other containers that will hold water.
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Javane on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:32 AM
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