How to reduce your risk of dengue infection

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Dengue is an infection caused by a virus. You can get it if an infected mosquito bites you. Dengue does not spread from person to person. It is common in warm, wet areas of the world. Outbreaks occur in the rainy season. Dengue is rare in the United States.

Symptoms include a high fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and a rash. In some cases, dengue turns into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding from your nose, gums, or under your skin. It can also become dengue shock syndrome, which causes massive bleeding and shock. These forms of dengue are life-threatenin

There is no vaccine available against dengue, and there are no specific medications to treat a dengue infection. This makes prevention the most important step, and prevention means avoiding mosquito bites if you live in or travel to an endemic area.

The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, like artificial containers that hold water in and around the home. Outdoors, clean water containers like pet and animal watering containers, flower planter dishes or cover water storage barrels. Look for standing water indoors such as in vases with fresh flowers and clean at least once a week.

The adult mosquitoes like to bite inside as well as around homes, during the day and at night when the lights are on. To protect yourself, use repellent on your skin while indoors or out. When possible, wear long sleeves and pants for additional protection. Also, make sure window and door screens are secure and without holes. If available, use air-conditioning.

If someone in your house is ill with dengue, take extra precautions to prevent mosquitoes from biting the patient and going on to bite others in the household. Sleep under a mosquito bed net, eliminate mosquitoes you find indoors and wear repellent! Source: MedlinePlus, CDC

 

 

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