I always wonder why mosquitoes like me, as if my blood tastes sweeter than others. They come after me for a delicious full blood meal while the rest around me remain unscathed. I thought it could just be a matter of time before an infected Aedes mosquito bites me!
A well-fed mozzie struck by my zapper racquet.
We are now in the warmer months of the year and dengue is on the rise, usually getting worse during the peak season of June. Since the beginning of 2015, there have been over 3000 dengue cases.
Ask around and it won’t be surprising that many of our friends or their loved ones were struck by dengue fever before. It was a horrible experience, some of my friends have said. The usual symptoms include high persistent fever, painful headaches, rashes, muscle and joint aches.
The more serious form of Dengue infection, known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome can cause internal bleeding, resulting in low blood pressure and even organ failure, leading to complications and death. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for dengue fever.
While many of us think that mosquitoes breed in outdoor areas such as construction sites or parks, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has reported that a majority of mosquito breeding habitats uncovered and destroyed are found actually found in homes. The deadly buggers that transmit Dengue are the Aedes mosquitoes, which are easily identifiable by the distinctive black and white stripes on their bodies.
It is interesting to know that not all Aedes mosquitoes carry the dengue virus. Female Aedes mosquitoes become infective after biting and sucking blood from people who carry the dengue virus in their blood (female mosquitoes take in blood for protein to develop eggs). These infected mosquitoes then transmit the virus to other people they bite.
All it takes is a small puddle of stagnant water for Aedes mosquitoes to breed in. Getting rid of stagnant water removes breeding sites of mosquitoes, and this is the best way to prevent dengue transmissions.. The Aedes mosquitoes are commonly found breeding in flower pot plates, vases, water storage containers and bamboo pole holders. They can also breed in stagnant water collected on the hardened soil in potted plants and along the rim of pails.
We are the first line of defense against dengue. Get the picture? Everyone should do the simple 5-step “Mozzie Wipeout” exercise everyday to easily prevent mosquito breeding –
Doing the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout In My Home
1. Change water in vases and bowls on alternate days – scrub the roots and insides of the containers too, as the mosquito eggs can stick to these surfaces easily!
2. Remove water from flowerpot plates on alternate days
3. Turn over all water storage containers – especially after doing loads of laundry when I’m back from a trip
4. Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use
5. If you stay in a landed home, remember to clear blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly!
Let’s all do the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout to safeguard our loved ones and community from the threat of Dengue. For more tips on dengue prevention and latest updates on dengue clusters, visit Stop Dengue Now
Stay tuned next week when I share with you tips on how to prevent mozzie breeding in your home before you leave on a trip!
*This community awareness message on dengue prevention is brought to you on behalf of NEA.