Spreading facts and debunking myths about dengue is key to reducing illness and death caused by the mosquito-borne viral infection.
Myth: I will develop dengue after being bitten by any mosquito.
Fact: Dengue is transmitted through the bite of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These mosquitoes usually bite between 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset and can be found inside and outside the house.
Myth: Dengue is a mild disease.
Fact: While many dengue infections produce only mild illness, dengue can cause an acute flu-like illness. Occasionally this develops into a potentially lethal complication, called severe dengue.
Symptoms of severe dengue include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding gums, vomiting blood, rapid breathing, and fatigue/restlessness. Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries.
Myth: Dengue can be treated.
Fact: There is no specific treatment or medicine for dengue. Patients should seek medical advice. In most cases, supportive care is given and includes rest, increased fluid intake, and administration of paracetamol to bring down fever and reduce joint pains.
Myth: Having a previous dengue infection provides permanent immunity.
Fact: Infection with one strain of dengue virus will provide life-time protection only against that particular strain. However, it is still possible to become infected by other strains, which can develop into severe dengue.
Myth: A person with dengue can infect another person.
Fact: Dengue cannot be spread directly from person to person. However, a person infected and suffering from dengue fever can infect other mosquitoes that bite the infected person. Infected mosquitoes can then bite other persons thereby spreading the infection.
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References: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2016/10/14/9-myths-about-dengue-fever-you-always-thought-were-facts. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.who.int/denguecontrol/faq/en/index2.html. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.who.int/denguecontrol/faq/en/index3.html. Accessed 25 August 2020 https://www.who.int/denguecontrol/faq/en/index5.html. Accessed 25 August 2020
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