Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Prevention, control key to dengue war

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: A two-pronged approach based on prevention and control can effectively stem the dengue scourge in the country.
Health Ministry deputy director of disease control (vector) Dr Azmi Hashim said among others, preventing the Aedes mosquito, which is the primary conduit of dengue, from breeding and avoiding being bitten were good preventive measures.
Control, on the other hand, involves curbing the spread of the disease.
"One way to control the disease is by restricting an infected person’s movements to prevent the Aedes mosquito from biting him or her. An Aedes mosquito can only spread dengue when it bites someone who is already infected with the disease."
Dr Azmi said prevention was the best way to combat the disease because it would save time and money spent to treat victims.

Some methods of prevention include:
• Keeping one’s surroundings clean and free from containers that could hold water and become breeding places for the Aedes mosquito;
• Wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants to avoid being bitten;
• Avoiding outdoor activities during peak feeding hours for Aedes mosquitoes (6am to 8am and 5pm to 8pm);
• Using insecticide spray in the house to kill adult mosquitoes; and,
• Using larvicide (chemical used to kill mosquito larvae) in ponds, water tanks or any other water containers in the house.
Active case detection measures should also be carried out, where health officials would visit those living in the same area as a dengue patient to ascertain whether they were exhibiting symptoms of dengue.

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