In the Netherlands, mosquitoes are no more than an annoying side effect: you can not sleep from the itch or the irritating buzz. However abroad, you have to pay extra attention when you hear the soundtrack of the mosquito. Dengue, also known as Dengue fever, is known in large parts of the world. You can get very sick of this.
WHAT IS IT?
Dengue is a virus that spreads through the Tiger-mosquito, the same mosquito that also transmits yellow fever and Chikungunya. The mosquito stings especially in the hours after sunrise and just before sunset. Every year 25,000 people die of Dengue worldwide, but the vast majority of infected people only get sick. Everyone is equally susceptible to the disease, but people with reduced resistance (such as the elderly and young children) must pay extra attention.
IS THERE A VACCIN OR MEDICINE AGAINST DENGUE?
There is no vaccine or medicine against dengue yet. Although research is being done on a drug, it may still take a while before a good vaccine comes on the market. Until then, you should rub yourself with anti-mosquito spray to protect yourself against mosquito bites.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DENGUE?
Symptoms appear after 5 - 8 days after you have been bit by an infected mosquito. These are the most common symptoms:
- Heavy flu
- Heavy joint and muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red skin rash
- Heavy headache
- Troubled stomach / stomach pain
Travel blogger Erin, from TravelwithBender.com, thought it was the yoga class that made her feel unwell in Bali. The whole class she struggled against the urge to stop. After the lesson she retired to her hotel for a few hours of sleep. She felt a bit better, and even went for a swim. However, when her husband took her temperature in the evening, she turned out to have a fever. That was only the beginning of a hellish week.
The next day Erin suffered from her joints; her whole body hurt. At first, she thought it was muscle pain from the intensive yoga class, but soon realized that something worse was going on. The eye-opener for her: she had lost her appetite, something that never happened to her - even if she was ill. For five days she struggled with fever and went from shivering to bathing in sweat. On the fifth day she suddenly had red spots on her body, and her hands and feet suddenly hurt. She decided to go to the doctor, and he was plain: she was suffering from Dengue. After a few days of illness, the illness went back on its own.
If you show one or more of these symptoms, you should go directly to a doctor. Only use paracetamol and try to drink enough so that you do not end up in the hospital with dehydration symptoms.
WHERE DOES DENGUE OCCUR?
The first report of the disease stems from a Chinese medical encyclopaedia from the third century. The origin of the disease is unclear, but the source is probably in South East Asia. Subsequently, it ended up in Africa for unknown reasons, where it did a lot of damage in the fourteenth to nineteenth century. As a result of the slave trade, the disease has since spread out over the earth.
Dengue now occurs throughout North America (except Canada), Central America and South America (exception: Chile and Uruguay), large parts of Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and all countries east of it (exception: North & South Korea, Japan and New Zealand). It also occurs at very tourist locations, such as Bali, Mexico and the ABC islands. Due to climate change and temperature rises, the mosquito is also increasingly found in Europe. There are a number of cases registered in France and Croatia.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF AGAINST DENGUE?
There is no vaccine against Dengue, which makes it is important to protect yourself well against mosquitoes in high-risk countries. Use these tips to avoid getting bitten, and make sure you always use good anti-mosquito spray. One bit is enough to get infected, so prevention is very important.
GOOD PREPAEATION REDUCES THE CHANCE OF GETTING BIT:
- Wear finely woven- and mosquito-proof tropical clothing (long pants and shirts) to cover your skin.
- Always lubricate with anti-mosquito, and do not leave uncovered skin.
- Avoid ponds and other places with stagnant water where mosquitoes like to stop.
- Care Plus Natural has proven to offer protection for six hours or longer after having applied it once.
- Care Plus DEET offers protection for six to ten hours, depending on the concentration of DEET.