Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment
Singapore is staggering under a severe outbreak of dengue fever. Strict monitoring by authorities, public awareness and knowledge of general dos and don’ts can help combat the issue. Don't depend on dengue fever treatment at home, when it can be prevented.
An onslaught of dengue fever cases amid the pandemic is like a double whammy for Singaporeans. With rapidly rising cases, the authorities are fighting tooth and nail to control the causes. With precautional measures and controlled dengue fever symptoms, Singapore is ready to tackle the problem at the earliest.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) is implementing strict rules to control the spread of the disease.
Dengue Fever In Singapore
The NEA survey found 205 active dengue clusters more than a fortnight ago. This number has risen to 334 clusters by July 1.
The areas that need immediate action and have been issued notice include Woodleigh Close, Aljunied Road, Geylang Road, Bukit Panjang Ring Road, Leicester Road, Bournemouth Road, Brighton Crescent and Arnasalam Chetty Road.
Most of these clusters have reported a quick rise in cases. Egregious mosquito breeding is the reason. NEA inspections continue to find mosquito breeding spaces within residential estates. NEA has inspected almost 6900 premises all over the island.
Some of the spaces where mosquito breeding was found are:
- A flowerpot, cover for a container and water feature breeding more than a hundred larvae in Arnasalam Chetty Road/Kim Yam Road.
- About fifty larvae found in a porcelain bowl and pails in a residence in Clover Avenue.
- A concrete structure, hollow metal pole, canvas sheet, ground puddle, steel toe board and other construction fixtures in a construction site in Potong Pasir Avenue 1.
- Fifty or more larvae in a jacuzzi, canvas sheet and cooking pot in two residential premises in Aljunied Road/Geylang Road.
- Unused incense burner, plastic container and perimeter drain are the culprits in the committee garden of HDB estates.
NEA is planning to issue legal notices to the offending residents or groups and also impose a fine for non-compliance.
Don’t wait for NEA to take action. Don’t wait to face dengue fever symptoms Singapore is already battling. As a responsible citizen, you can take care of a few things yourself.
What Can You do?
The 5-step Mozzie wipe-out routine set up by NEA takes only a quick 10 minutes. If you follow these steps at the scheduled time, you will keep your homes mosquito-free.
- Every alternate day, change the water in the bowls/vases.
- Every alternate day, throw away water from flower pot plates.
- Cover bamboo pole holders if they are not in use.
- Turn water storage containers upside down, if not used.
- Clean and put BTI insecticide in drains and gutters.
Along with the above five steps,
- Change water daily in storage spaces and keep them covered.
- Clear blockages of drains and gutters.
- Check your surroundings regularly for any discarded item housing stagnant water.
- Use mosquito nets and screens wherever possible.
- Wear clothing that covers your body fully.
Since Aedes mosquito, the vector for dengue fever, bites during daytime, use insect repellent creams and lotions on the exposed parts of the body. Also, use insecticide spray in the corners of your house.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
When an infected female Aedes mosquito bites you, the dengue virus transmitted to your body gives you dengue fever. Since Aedes mosquito is very common in Singapore, this issue remains a constant problem.
Dengue fever is of two types and two levels of severity according to 2009 WHO recommendations. If you or anybody you know gets bitten by mosquitoes, look out for the following symptoms.
- Dengue fever
- Headache and body pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Leucopenia (low WBC count)
Signs that the disease is increasing in severity are:
- Persistent vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Liver enlargement
- Mucosal bleeding
- Severe Dengue/ Dengue haemorrhagic fever
- High fever
- Severe plasma leakage leading to shock
- Severe plasma leakage leading to respiratory problems
- Severe bleeding
- Internal organ impairment
Rates of a complete cure are good in the milder version of dengue fever. Once contracted, your high temperature will continue for at least seven days. Recuperation and recovery can take up to a month.
When to Visit a Doctor?
Considering the dengue fever symptoms Singapore citizens face, the sooner you visit a doctor, the better. According to the Mayo Clinic, early intervention will cure dengue patients completely. Since your dengue fever will be confirmed by blood tests, chest x-ray, blood pressure and other checks by the doctor, an early visit is advisable.
Reach out to your doctor if you have nosebleeds, clammy skin, bruising under the skin, severe body or abdominal pain, restlessness and sudden drop in blood pressure. Initial treatment is blood pressure monitoring, nursing observation and OTC drugs to control pain. Beyond that, you may need IV fluids, electrolyte therapy, oxygen therapy and blood transfusion.
Other than visiting your doctor, for a mild case of dengue fever, there is dengue fever treatment at home. Take adequate rest and lots of fluids. Painkillers with acetaminophen are the right medicine as against aspirin, ibuprofen etc. since they cause bleeding issues. Keep tab of your recent activities and medicines and vitamins to inform the doctor.
Remember, there is no vaccination against dengue fever. Thus, precaution and timely remedies are the two lifesavers.