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Preparing for the War on Mosquitos

While some mosquitoes can be active throughout the year in the Philippines, with peak season during the rainy season, from May through November.. So as we head into the warmer months, pest control, public health and vector control professionals have been attending training to ensure they are prepared to prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases, such as Dengue, Malaria and Zika viruses with Dengue as the number in mosquito related cases in the Philippines.


Different kinds of mosquitoes can carry different viruses. For example, Culex species can carry West Nile Virus while Aedes mosquitoes can carry Dengue and Zika virus. Knowing which kinds of mosquitoes are active in your area is critical for our disease prevention strategies.


As the weather heats up and mosquitoes become more active, you can help us Fight the Bite:


wear insect repellent

wear long-sleeved shirts and pants

dump any standing water around your house.


With all of us working together, we can prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, like Dengue, West Nile and Zika virus.


Dengue is a viral infection caused by four types of viruses (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4) belonging to the Flaviviridae family. The viruses are transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus female mosquitoes that feed both indoors and outdoors during the daytime (from dawn to dusk). These mosquitoes thrive in areas with standing water, including puddles, water tanks, containers and old tires. Lack of reliable sanitation and regular garbage collection also contribute to the spread of the mosquitoes.


Risk

Risk of Dengue exists in tropical and subtropical areas of Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. All travellers are at risk during outbreaks. Long-term travellers and humanitarian workers going to areas where Dengue is endemic are at higher risk. Dengue occurs in urban and suburban settings with higher transmission rates happening during the rainy season.


Symptoms

In some cases, Dengue infection is asymptomatic – persons do not exhibit symptoms. Those with symptoms get ill between 4 to 7 days after the bite. The infection is characterized by flu-like symptoms which include a sudden high fever coming in separate waves, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint, and bone pain, severe headache, and a skin rash with red spots. Treatment includes supportive care of symptoms. There is no antiviral treatment available.


The illness may progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, bruising, and uncontrolled bleeding. High fever can last from 2 to 7 days. Complications can lead to circulatory system failure and shock, and can be fatal (also known as Dengue Shock Syndrome).


If you are infected with the same Dengue virus serotype you become immune to future infections. However, if you are infected subsequently with a different serotype, immunity wanes over time which increases the risk of developing Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.


Dengue is related to Zika Virus, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, and Japanese Encephalitis. It can be misdiagnosed for Chikungunya, Zika Virus, or Yellow Fever.



Prevention


Travellers should take meticulous measures to prevent mosquito bites during the daytime.


Use a repellent containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin on exposed skin. Re-apply according to manufacturer's directions.


Wear neutral-coloured (beige, light grey) clothing. If possible, wear long-sleeved, breathable garments.


If available, pre-soak or spray outer layer clothing and gear with permethrin.

Get rid of water containers around dwellings and ensure that door and window screens work properly.


Apply sunscreen first followed by the repellent (preferably 20 minutes later).

More details on insect bite prevention.


A vaccine is available for people living in some Dengue endemic countries, but is not commercially available for travellers.



Have a regular mosquito treatment to prevent risk of mosquitos thriving in your area. Call Jansen Pest Control at 0916.221.2629 for mosquito reduction programs.

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