DENGUE-EDUCATION/BM EXPERT SUGGESTS EXTENSIVE PUBLIC EDUCATION ON DENGUE
July 8 10:12
KUALA LUMPUR,The government has been urged to provide extensive education on dengue to enhance public understanding on dengue and the spread of the disease, which is reported becoming more serious. Director of the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), Universiti Malaya (UM), Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar said the public should be given accurate information on dengue to ensure campaigns to enhance their awareness on the disease could yield positive results. He said the public were told of the ways to prevent Aedes mosquito from
breeding, like fogging and use of insect repellant, but they were not informed on the origin of the dengue virus.
He said some 1,500 years ago, the dengue virus was found in monkeys in the forest and was spread to human through mosquito bites. "Actually, the dengue virus existed in human beings, the mosquito is only an agent which transfers the virus to other human beings.
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"So, individuals who are infected by dengue should ensure they are not bitten by mosquitoes. This is what many of us are still not clear," he told Bernama. He said individuals who were down with dengue fever should use mosquito net or use mosquito repellent on their skin. "Another way is to wear clothing which covers their skin, like bright-coloured long pants. The housing compound should also be well-lit because mosquitoes like areas which are dark,” he added. Dr Sazaly also said those who had been down with dengue fever should take every precaution to avoid being bitten by aedes mosquitoes. "A person who has been infected by dengue virus will suffer from haemorrhagic dengue if bitten again by mosquitoes carrying the virus," he added.
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He said a patients down with normal dengue would take between five and seven days to recuperate."However, those with haemorrhagic dengue have high risk of death," he added. Currently, Dr Sazaly said, UM was intensifying its research on the best way to fight dengue virus. For the record, a total of 44,518 dengue cases were reported between January and June 28 this year, which is an increase of 246 per cent or 31,660 cases from the corresponding period last year, which was 12,858 cases. A total of 85 deaths due to dengue were reported nationwide during the same period, from only 27 last year.