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Keeping Your Family Safe During the Dengue Season
July 14, 2021 by Martin Luigi Lagustan
No matter what you do, be it building a business empire or something as simple as looking for a house and lot for sale, your family’s safety is always your priority. Unfortunately, you can’t protect them from everything, 24/7.
Unexpected events, accidents, and diseases are just around the corner, and now that the rainy season has begun, there’s one thing you have to watch out for Dengue.
What Is Dengue?
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease caused by one of four serotypes of dengue viruses: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. A person can develop immunity after getting one of these types. However, you are still susceptible to the other three you didn’t get. Hence, it’s possible to get all four in a lifetime.
Luckily, dengue isn’t contagious, so it can’t spread from one person to another. Although, the disease is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is one of the four most common types of mosquitoes in the Philippines.
How Dangerous Is Dengue?
Now, while the virus isn’t transmissible between humans, female mosquitoes can produce 50 to 500 eggs. These eggs will then turn into an adult in as quick as eight days. How fast mosquitoes reproduce already makes it really dangerous.
This is why it comes to no surprise that the CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) estimates that there are at least 400 million cases of dengue around the world every year. Meanwhile, one in every 20 people who get infected by the virus will develop severe dengue.
If you want more current numbers in the Philippines, according to Europa.eu, the country reported 17,630 cases and 63 deaths from dengue as of March 27, 2021.
Severe cases of dengue can get as worse as a hemorrhagic fever, which is a more extreme stage that can cause severe bleeding, dehydration, organ damage, and even death. Luckily, if treated early, the mortality rate can go as low as 1 out of 100 people. So, it’s extremely essential that you know how to spot the illness before it gets worse.
What Are the Symptoms Of Dengue?
Luckily, dengue symptoms are usually mild, and they can be mistakes for flu symptoms or other viral infections. Symptoms for dengue will usually start to manifest in about four to seven days after the first bite. Generally, symptoms can last for ten days, which can include the following:
- High fever (up to 41°C)
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe headache
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Swollen lymph glands
- Mild bleeding from the nose or gums
- Feverish convulsions
- Mild bruising
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. They use blood tests to check for infections and viral antibodies. Be cautious. Otherwise, it can easily lead to severe dengue, which can have the following symptoms:
- Skin bleeding (with blood spots on the skin and large blood patches under the skin)
- Blood in urine
- Black stools
- Impaired consciousness and possible changes in mental state
- Respiratory distress
- Severe leakage of blood plasma
- Impaired heart, liver, and other organs
- Dangerously low blood pressure
Severe dengue usually occurs when the patient has multiple comorbidities. So if you or your child has existing conditions, it’s essential to bring them to the doctor immediately.
How to Dengue-proof Your Home
Luckily, this illness can be easily avoided. All you have to do is just prepare your home, especially during dengue season. In the Philippines, dengue season peaks around May to November, according to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers.
At the time of writing this article, it’s July, and the rainy season has pretty much just begun. So, it’s really best that you do these tips right now. Keep your family safe from dengue. Here are eight ways you can protect your home from dengue:
1. Cover and Clean Water Containers
The best way to fight these insects is to use their strength against them. What do mosquitoes do best? Breed and lay eggs. Where do they lay their eggs? In stagnant water.
Female mosquitoes take advantage of their small bodies to look for the moistest location they can find to lay their eggs. Their larvae love to feed on the organic matter that is usually found in stagnant water. Hence, you have to make sure you check all your water containers.
One study conducted in Thailand last 2019 found that water containers inside households have 2.22 times more Aedes mosquito immatures compared to outdoor containers. This can be surprising to read since you’d really expect these insects to lay their eggs outside your home.
Luckily, it can be easily avoided by properly covering your water containers. Researchers from the same 2019 study found that containers without lids and ineffective lids have a high presence of Aedes mosquito immatures.
There are numerous ways to cover your containers, but one thing’s for sure, you have to make sure the lids are tight and secure. You can also use a mesh cover if your water barrels don’t have lids.
If your containers already have an infestation of mosquito larvae, the best you can do is drain all the water and clean the container. However, you can also use larvicide if you want to get rid of the immature and leave your water looking fresh.
Although be cautious because the water will only look fresh, but it will not be suitable for drinking. The most common type of larvicide is mosquito dunks, which are perfectly safe for fish, so it’s great to use if you have fish ponds.
2. Make an Anti-Mosquito Cleaning Schedule
Another great way to protect your home is to make it a regular thing to clean your home, especially the areas that can easily be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. So, when mosquito season starts, you can follow this checklist to get you started:
Insect sprays and repellent checklist:
- Stock up on insect repellents to fight the mosquitoes you see.
- Use mosquito zappers outside your home, especially in entrances.
- Stock up on mosquito coils (optional).
- Spray shaded shrubbery and moist areas in your yard.
- Use long-acting surface sprays on larvae-ridden areas.
Yard and garden checklist:
- Clean and remove anything where water can collect. Even pet bowls, unused pots and tires, and birdbaths can easily be a mosquito breeding spot.
- Cover or overturn unused pots, containers, wheelbarrows, and other items that can allow water to collect.
- Clean roof gutters and drains at least once a month.
- Fix leaking faucets or taps.
- Clean and change the water in vases, outdoor fish tanks, birdbaths, and pet bowls at least once a week.
- Use sand or soil around the base of potted plants.
- Keep your lawns and gardens trimmed to reduce mosquito resting areas.
- Keep your swimming pool clean, covered, or empty whenever they’re not in use.
Outdoor water storage vessel checklist:
- Check all lids, pipes, and covers for any gaps, and make sure they’re all completely sealed.
- Check all water collection containers for larvae infestation at least once a week.
- Use a removable mesh to protect poorly covered water collection vessels.
Luckily, if you currently don’t have a lawn or yard, you don’t have to worry much about outdoor breeding grounds. You can purchase screens or mesh for your windows and doors to protect your indoors.
However, if you want to move to a place with a yard so your family can have more room to move around, contact a premium real estate expert to help you look for the best house and lot for sale.
3. Wear Protective Clothing When Going Out at Night
Wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks can help protect you from mosquitoes. Spraying repellents made for fabrics can also help. However, you can’t just wear anything when you’re fighting against mosquitoes. Those pesky insects can bite through certain fabrics!
The sharp, long mouths of mosquitoes can pierce through the lightweight fabric, like spandex, gauze, and voile. For maximum protection, wear clothing made of denim, tight-knit wool, velvet, and nylon ripstop.
Aside from the material, the fit and shape of your clothes can also make a difference. Avoid wearing skin-tight clothes, lick leggings, yoga pants, or tights. At the same time, avoid clothes with loose necklines and sleeves or pants that expose your ankles.
Another factor you need to consider is the color of your clothes. Those pesky biters love heat, and dark colors or shades hold heat. So, opt for light-colored clothes, like yellow or white, so mosquitoes would be less likely to notice you.
As an added protection, you can also spray your clothes with mosquito repellents. This is crucial if you like working out or cycling at night because the smell of your sweat can attract mosquitoes. According to Healthline, repellents like picaridin and DEET can mask the smell of your sweat.
4. Have a Proper Waste Management Routine
While we’re only discussing dengue in this article, mosquitoes can also bring other diseases, like Malaria and Zika virus — and your trash can contribute to it.
According to research conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, more garbage can mean more mosquitoes and the diseases they bring with them. Discarded containers can easily collect water and act as a breeding ground since mosquitoes only need small amounts of stagnant water to survive.
Moreover, mosquitoes also feed on dead fish and other carcasses from your leftover food. Those rotting food contain bacteria that they can carry and infect you with.
Having a proper waste management routine at home can come a long way. Not only can it help prevent mosquitoes, but it’s also good practice to help your environment.
Probably the most cliché yet effective way to manage your waste properly are the three R’s: Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse.
- Reduce your waste at home by buying groceries that have minimal packaging. Those packaging (that you won’t really use again, ever) can only accumulate water and fluids that mosquitoes can easily find.
- Recycle plastic bags, cartons, water bottles, and other recyclable materials. If you don’t want to do it yourself, collect all recyclables and donate them to the nearest recyclers.
- Reuse sturdy containers, like boxes, jars, jugs, and plastic bags. We get it. Those pretty jars you see online look really great, but you can easily find those at the grocery store and repurpose them for whatever you need.
5. Use Water Aeration Systems
You already know that mosquitoes love stagnant water. If you have a pool or fish pond at home, these are easy breeding grounds for them, and really, cleaning them all the time just to prevent these insects from multiplying can be a hassle.
One option you can consider is water aeration systems. Aeration devices can pass or pump large amounts of air through the water, keeping the surface moving, which will prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs.
Water aeration systems can also help kill existing eggs and larvae in the water. As the system continuously makes the surface of the water turbulent, the larva will have difficulty wriggling to the surface to breathe.
As an added benefit, aeration systems can also dissolve and release contaminants into the air. It can help manage radon, carbon dioxide, dissolve taste, odor, and other organic compounds, and ultimately improve water quality. Check out this article to learn more about aeration systems.
Protect Your Family Against Dengue
Protecting your family from harmful diseases is a must, especially now that a pandemic is still upon us. Just follow these tips, and we’re sure you can easily avoid dengue and other diseases from affecting your family’s health.
If you’re looking for a high-end house and lot for sale where your family can be safe from mosquitoes, we can help. Crown Asia specializes in helping you improve your quality of life by finding the best properties for you and your family.
From condos for sale in the Philippines to houses for rent in Cavite or a house and lot in Sta Rosa, Laguna, we can find you a home in an area where the air and environment are clean, perfect for protecting your family against dengue.
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