According to a report in Arab News, there was an increase in the number of dengue cases in Jeddah in 2015, as compared to 2014. This prompted the Jeddah municipality to implement a number of measures to curtail this rise in numbers. These measures include instructing all building owners in the region to clear standing water or to cover exposed water, which can act as a conducive environment for mosquitoes to breed. Severe penalties are to be charged in case of non-compliance with these measures. It is not just the people of the Kingdom who are at risk but the pilgrims from around the world gathering for the Hajj pilgrimage are also vulnerable to this epidemic. So, it is best to prevent the growth of this epidemic and visit a doctor as soon as you encounter any dengue fever symptoms. Here are a few things to keep in mind about this disease.
What is the Cause?
There are types of dengue viruses that cause fever, three of which have been identified in Saudi Arabia. The disease is transmitted by the aedes mosquito. When this mosquito bites an infected human, the virus is transmitted. This mosquito then goes on to bite another human, injecting the dengue virus into his/her blood stream, thereby spreading the disease to them. Once you have recovered from a particular dengue virus, you will only have immunity to that strain, still leaving you vulnerable to the other dengue strains.
What are Symptoms?
There is a possibility that some people do not exhibit any dengue fever symptoms at all. But in most cases, the symptoms to look out for are:
- High fever with temperatures as high as 106oF
- Severe Headaches
- Symptoms of flu
- Joint and muscle pains
- Bad stomach ache
- Pain behind your eyes
- Vomiting and nausea
- Skin rashes
- Minor bleeding from the gums
How to prevent it?
Apart from initiatives by the government agencies, we also can play an important role in controlling the spread of this disease. Several steps can be taken in this regard. These include:
- Use mosquito repellant products on the skin and clothing to protect yourself against getting bitten.
- Leave no part of the body exposed to mosquitoes. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
- Make sure to not let stagnant water settle in your surrounding areas. If you have to store water, make sure it is properly covered.
- Take extra care during the day time, since this is when there is the highest chance of contracting this disease. If you have to go out during this time, it is advisable to wear long, loose fitting clothes.