Monday, 3 January 2011

Dengue Fever Kills and it does not discriminate, In 2010 it killed at least 133 Malaysians

Dengue fever  is a viral infection caused by the female mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). Dengue fever occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions and usually increases in the hot and humid months. Dengue fever is not a new disease. It was discovered several hundred years ago. In recent years, dengue fever has become a major international public health concern. 

Dengue fever lasts for approximately 7 days, despite its sudden and acute onset. However, extra precautions should be taken after the recovery period. These precautions will help prevent severe illness from occurring in some people, such as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). These illnesses are potentially lethal and are today the leading cause of childhood mortality in several Asian countries. Read more on dengue fever here.

In 2009 there were about 40,610 dengue cases all over Malaysia resulting in 85 deaths. 

In 2010 there were about 45,684  dengue cases all over Malaysia resulting in 133 deaths.
[source from KKM website here.]

Death by dengue fever is a real and present danger to all of us who resides in Malaysia and other neighboring countries. I lost a good friend and a good Engineer to dengue way back in 2004. It does not affect you that much until it hit home when a friend or relative or some one you knew died of the disease caused by a small mosquito bite. 

Those small water puddles collected in small containers in your home and around the house compound should be got rid of as they are breeding ground for the mosquito larvae.

Good news though there is something happening in the medical world that will save lives:

1. Malaysia testing new dengue fever vaccine

This vaccine on human is in the testing stage will be available only in the next few years if trials are successful.

Now there is another great breakthrough in Australia, Bernama/TheStar have the news here:
MELBOURNE: Australian scientists have developed a bacterium that will wipe out dengue fever.
The bacterium acts as a vaccine for mosquitoes, which could in turn stop the disease spreading in humans, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reports.
 - Bernama

Finally, Medical research are attacking the dengue fever with much ferocity, Thank God. First we are developing a vaccine for human against dengue and then another vaccine for the mosquito itself. 
However these are researches and they need time for trials etc. 

The best prevention is still to ensure that conditions conducive for the breeding of the aedes aegypti mosquitoes are eliminated around the house.

1. Our roles. 
People must empty stagnant water from old tires, trash cans & flower pots or any containers.

2. Mosquito control. 
Place larvicide e.g. Abate® or any other suitable insecticides into any exposed water container.

Remember friends, Dengue Fever kills, it does not discriminate.

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