Did you know that just this year over 20,000 cases of dengue – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever in Sri Lanka have been reported? Despite many dengue awareness campaigns in Sri Lanka, the disease continues to claim dozens of lives every year, many of them children.
- What Is Dengue?
Dengue – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever is a dangerous mosquito-borne disease which can sometimes lead to serious complications and death.
- Who Gets Dengue?
Anyone can get dengue. However children have a higher risk of developing serious complications. Over 75% of reported cases of dengue in Sri Lanka were among students below 20 years of age, and most deaths were among young children.
- How Can Your Child Get Dengue?
Dengue is only transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito, –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aedes who mostly bites during day time. Your child can get bitten not only at home, but also at school where he or she spends much of the day.
- What Are The Symptoms?
Here are some common dengue symptoms in Sri Lanka:
- Persistent high fever (usually over 104 °F)
- Severe headache
- Muscle and joint ache
- A characteristic rash – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever#Signs_and_symptoms.
If your child shows one or all of these common dengue symptoms in Sri Lanka, do not give him or her Aspirin. Take your child immediately to the nearest hospital. The doctor may order some blood tests to confirm if your child has dengue. You may have to admit your child to hospital, where he or she will be monitored closely and given supportive care.
There is no medication or vaccine against dengue. The best way to protect your child is through preventative measures.
The best prevention is to eliminate the breeding sites of the Aedes mosquito-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aedes who normally breeds in clean, stagnant water. You should do this not only around your house, but also at your child’s school.
Here are some tips:
- Dispose of containers where water accumulates outside. (empty yogurt cups, broken tires, coconut shells, etc.)
- Ensure that drains and gullies are regularly cleaned. Flush toilets which are not used regularly.
- Prune trees with large leaves. (the leaves can collect water)
- Mosquitoes can breed indoors as well. Change water in flower vases, etc. daily.
- If there are ponds at home or school, breed larvae-eating small fish in them.
- Contact your Municipal Council and discuss fumigation and fogging options.
- Prevent bites by dressing your child in long sleeved tops and pants during the daytime and applying mosquito repellents. –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito Repellents Natural repellents such as citronella oil can be effective.
Get the help of neighbors, school children, teachers and other parents to keep your child’s neighborhood and school dengue-free. Share information from this article with others and create your own small dengue awareness campaigns in Sri Lanka. This way you will be doing your best to protect your child and many others from dengue.