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Let us all unite to fight dengue

dengue fever s5 contractedDengue which has become a national menace at present is a great threat to all our lives.

Many institutions including National Dengue Prevention Unit, Epidemiology Unit, and Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine are making efforts in controlling this situation. We should first of all appreciate the service rendered by public and private hospital staff as well as armed forces and the police in this regard.

This epidemic has spread in several countries in Asia. Generally dengue menace appears in June and July with monsoon rains and temporarily subsides and emerges again in October and November. However it is pathetic that this year the situation has become worsened.

However, according to data given by relevant institutes 89,885 dengue patients have been reported in the country and 269 have deceased up to date. These reports are prepared daily and weekly basis. According to previous years the breeding of mosquitoes has not increased but its spreading has severely increased. Most important in this situation is the public awareness. Though more patients have been reported than the previous month the number of deaths has decreased indicating that public awareness in this regard has increased.

Death of many of persons who have died of dengue was caused because they went for treatment when the disease comes to a severe situation. Hence if you catch fever consult a doctor immediately. If dengue is recognized in early stage it could be cured even by bed rest and nutritious foods. But if it spreads throughout the body it makes it hard to be cured.

Many of patients will not have its symptoms at first stage but if you have following symptoms you should immediately consult a doctor.

* Headache and pain under eyes
*Pains in muscles and joints
*Nausea and vomiting
*Red spots on the skin
*Blood flow situations

Doctors advise to do a blood test within 48 hours if you have above symptoms. Although the reports are normal if you feel sick in next 24 hours you should do another blood test. Government has limited the charge for a blood test done at a private institute to Rs. 250. Moreover, if a member of your family is infected with dengue you should compulsorily inform the Medical Officer of Health in your area, as you have a great possibility of infecting the same.

This time we are infected with dengue virus type 2 in Sri Lanka. It is spreading in the country after 7, 8 years. It could also be infected to someone who was infected with dengue earlier. Moreover, the new mosquito does not stay in walls like other mosquitoes. They like to stay in dark places. Under beds, cupboards, and chairs etc. Therefore, there is no use of using mosquito controlling smokes to spread only in surface areas.

It is extremely important to keep your house and garden clean. Even mosquitoes may breed inside house such as in fish tanks. Some fish do not eat mosquito larvae but the guppy fish does. Hence if you have a fish tank it is good to grow some guppy fish in it.

It is important to keep yourself safe from dengue disease. Beware of mosquito bites during 6am to 10am and 4pm to 6pm which is the active time of dengue mosquito. Your contribution in this regard is needed as there is a limit for the government's intervention. 

Not only your house and garden you should consider the place you spend in the daytime. Try your best to avoid mosquito bites within the said 6 hours and protect children from mosquito bites as they may be unable to drive away mosquitoes that land on their skin.

There are several ways to protect you from dengue as shown by National Dengue Prevention Unit.

*Wearing light cotton cloths to cover the body (It is important on children to be protected during aforesaid 6 hours)

*Use a mosquito net during these 6 hours if you are resting in bed (for small children and elders who reside in houses in day time)

*Use of mosquito repulsive. That is applying some sort of repulsive in body such as citronella oil. If some natural repulsive are with unpleasant smell artificial repulsive could be used, but you should never apply them on children under 5 years.

There is a misconception in people that if dengue is infected the patient should hospitalized. But with proper instructions of doctors they could be treated without hospitalization. If the disease is in severe condition the doctor will recommend the patient to be hospitalized. The platelet count will decrease in case of dengue and it will increase again after the seventh day, unless a doctor should be consulted. Medical recommendation is that you should not take any painkiller except paracetamol.

As dengue has become a epidemic, all media have served beyond their commercial agendas and commit their valuable time for making aware the public in this regard. We should also unite to fight this national menace. Start from today. Start from you. Keep your house, office clean and prevent breeding of mosquitoes. Start today..Fight dengue..

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