NATION

Beware! It’s Dengue Danger Time

The high season for dengue fever in Fiji traditionally arrives with the rainy sea­son in November and continues throughout April. The increased rainfall can fill containers with water to create
18 Feb 2018 11:00
Beware! It’s Dengue Danger Time

The high season for dengue fever in Fiji traditionally arrives with the rainy sea­son in November and continues throughout April.

The increased rainfall can fill containers with water to create breeding grounds for mosquitos, which can carry the dengue virus.

As a result, there is an increased risk of dengue fever outbreak.

As part of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ clean-up campaign, the Ministry is urging communities around Fiji to be proactive about emptying water containers, covering water drums and tanks and disposing of un­used tyres, drums and other water containers to combat mosquito breeding and limit the spread of the dengue virus.

The Ministry also recommends the use of DEET (N, N-diethyl-me­ta-toluamide) containing mosqui­to repellent to prevent mosquito bites.

The Ministry also urges all Fiji­ans to seek urgent medical atten­tion if they are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with dengue fever.

Dengue Fever Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms of dengue fever, which typically begin 5-7 days after being infected by a dengue virus carrying mosquito, include: sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, pain behind the eyes/eye socket, joint pains, mus­cle pains, tiredness, nausea, vom­iting, or skin rash.

The symptoms can last 3-7 days before you start to feel better.

More worrying symptoms, or danger signs, which may indicate the life threatening complication of severe dengue fever can occur within the first 24 hours or later in the illness, and include: severe stomach (abdominal) pain, con­tinuous vomiting, fast breathing, unexplained bruising, bleeding gums, tiredness, restlessness and blood in vomitting.

There is no cure for dengue fever.

The treatment for dengue fever is known as ‘supportive treatment’, i.e. treatment to help relieve the worst symptoms while your body’s immune system fights the virus.

Dengue without danger signs can be treated at home with paraceta­mol (to relieve headache and fe­ver), increased drinking of water and juices (rehydration) and rest.

Other pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen (brufen) should be avoided as they can worsen bleed­ing in severe dengue.

Persons with dengue with danger signs need hospital admission.

If you think you or a family mem­ber may have dengue fever, please see a doctor so that they can as­sess you for danger signs. If you have seen a doctor and then later start to have dangers signs, please immediately go back to the doctor, or to another health facility.

If you have danger signs please go to a health facility.

The elimination of mosquito breeding places needs to become a routine activity for all of us. We urge every Fijian to take heed of this advice to help combat the spread of the dengue virus.

Source: Ministry of Health and Med­ical Services

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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