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Dengue season: what precautions to take to prevent the disease during the holidays

Any container capable of accumulating water can become a breeding ground for Aedes aegypti, but some can produce large numbers of mosquitoes (Photo: Pixabay)
Any container capable of accumulating water can become a breeding ground for Aedes aegypti, but some can produce large numbers of mosquitoes (Photo: Pixabay)

In Argentina, the dengue It is a viral infection transmitted by mosquito bites. Aedes aegypti, when the mosquito feeds on the blood of a person sick with dengue and then bites others, it transmits this disease to them. The highest number of cases occurs mainly between February and April. For this reason, it is important to take preventive measures to reduce the possible breeding sites of insects and to be attentive to the symptoms.

During the summer, given the high temperatures and the start of the holidays, it is necessary to take measures to prevent the dengue, zika and chikungunyaall diseases transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti. Whether for tourists moving within the country or region or for those staying at home, the Healthy World Foundation He pointed out the recommendations to take into account so that this mosquito does not bite us.

The mosquito Aedes aegypti It is black in color and has white stripes all over its body and legs. It is an urban and domestic mosquito that adapts very well to the human habitat. The life cycle of Aedes aegypti it is between 7 and 10 days, and the life time of the adult mosquito is 4 to 6 weeks.

In the broadcast Season, which began in August 2022, around 900 suspected cases were reported nationwide, of which 13 cases of dengue with a travel history were confirmed. Only in December were the first diagnoses three autochthonous cases, two in the city of Córdoba and one in CABA. At the regional level, in the same period, both Brazil and Paraguay confirmed cases of dengue and chikungunya.

In addition to scrapping, it is important to fumigate to kill the larvae (EFE/Rodrigo Sura/File)
In addition to scrapping, it is important to fumigate to kill the larvae (EFE/Rodrigo Sura/File)

At this time “the period in which the highest levels of Aedes aegypti activity are recorded begins, which also coincides with that of dengue viral circulation,” said Manuel Espinosa, head of the Department of Mosquito-borne Diseases of the Mundo Sano Foundation. .

In this context, “it is important to take measures to prevention adequate in the four main aspects that are: the reduction of possible mosquito breeding sites, personal protection to avoid bites, protection of the home to prevent the entry of the mosquito and be attentive to the symptoms”, completed the NGO specialist which for two decades has been carrying out actions aimed at the prevention and awareness of mosquito-borne diseases: dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

They know each other four different serotypes of the virus, closely related: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. All four serotypes circulate in America.

Monitor the appearance of possible dengue symptoms: fever accompanied by pain behind the eyes, head, muscles and joints;  nausea and vomiting;  intense tiredness;  appearance of spots on the skin;  itchy and/or bleeding nose and gums (Getty Images)
Monitor the appearance of possible dengue symptoms: fever accompanied by pain behind the eyes, head, muscles and joints; nausea and vomiting; intense tiredness; appearance of spots on the skin; itchy and/or bleeding nose and gums (Getty Images)

Dengue is only transmitted through the bite of the mosquito. It is not transmitted from person to person, nor through objects or breast milk.

The same happens with the Chikungunya virus and Yellow Fever. Zika, on the other hand, can also be transmitted sexually or from mother to child during pregnancy.

Another fact to take into account is that pets do not catch dengue, they point out from Mundo Sano.

The greater urbanization and the associated environmental changes give rise to the fact that the presence of the transmitting mosquito is present in a large part of the Argentine territory. Today, we can say that dengue is present in the northern region of our country and also in large provinces such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Santa Fe and also, of course, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

In summer, when there is more time outdoors and high temperatures, extreme care must be taken (graphic: Fundación Mundo Sano)
In summer, when there is more time outdoors and high temperatures, extreme care must be taken (graphic: Fundación Mundo Sano)

The first thing to take into account when traveling is to know if our destination is a transmission risk zone of any of these diseases.

When exposing yourself outdoors, it is recommended to take precautions during the early morning and late afternoon, since they are the moments of greatest activity of the mosquito. While, for the rest of the day, one way to prevent bites is to always use light clothes that covers arms and legs, and repellent that has to be renewed every four hours.

Within the lodgings, it is recommended to use spirals or repellent tablets in the environments, air conditioners or fans to reduce the activity of Aedes aegypti, and make use of the mosquito nets in the place.

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, especially of the Aedes aegypti species (Mundo Sano Foundation).
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, especially of the Aedes aegypti species (Mundo Sano Foundation).

Keeping the patios clean by eliminating all disused objects that can accumulate water, controlling the dishes that are found under the pots and changing the water in our pets’ drinking fountains daily are some of the care we can carry out.

Let’s remember that the Aedes aegypti reproduces through eggs that it deposits in containers and surfaces that accumulate water. It does not do it in puddles, swamp lagoons, ditches, rivers or streams, therefore it is important to eliminate possible breeding sites.

In turn, it is recommended use repellent every time you are outdoors, install mosquito nets on doors and windows and place insecticidal coils or tablets.

Dengue is only transmitted through the bite of the mosquito.  It is not transmitted from person to person, or through objects or breast milk (graphic: Fundación Mundo Sano)
Dengue is only transmitted through the bite of the mosquito. It is not transmitted from person to person, or through objects or breast milk (graphic: Fundación Mundo Sano)

In summer time, the canvas pools With little water they are usually one of the places most sought after by these mosquitoes to deposit their eggs, for this reason the edges must be cleaned frequently with a brush, kept full and with chlorine and, when not in use, empty and disassemble them. In the case of material pools, in addition to cleaning it, it is important to circulate the water through filters at least once a day.

What are the possible symptoms of these diseases? The symptoms for which it is recommended to go to the hospital are: headache, nausea, vomiting, myalgia, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite and skin eruptions.

In no case is self-medication prior to consulting the doctor recommended, since it can inhibit the symptoms.

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