Stephanie Piovesan – Sao Paulo, SP (Folhabres) – Prevention is the best way to fight dengue, the disease that last year caused 1,016 deaths in the country. For this reason, every place where water can accumulate should be checked periodically – this is where the Aedes aegypti lays its eggs.
According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), it is necessary at least once a week to: check that the water tank is well covered, clean the gutters and drip trays of the refrigerator and air-conditioning.
It is essential to leave trash cans well covered, put sand in plant dishes, collect and store trash from the backyard, cover swimming pools, cover drains, and lower toilet lids.
The Ministry of Health also emphasizes the importance of emptying bottles, not storing tires in open areas, and not piling water on pallets, as initiatives to prevent the spread of mosquitoes.
To promote prevention, the entities list measures that can be taken in the area of personal and family care, such as the use of insect repellents, a preference for light-coloured clothing, and the installation of screens on windows and doors.
In the case of children under two years of age, UNICEF states that repellents containing DEET (a chemical compound) are not mentioned, and for pregnant women, the agency recommends avoiding trips to areas with an increased concentration of mosquitoes. If travel is necessary, pregnant women should speak to their doctors and follow prevention guidelines closely.
In addition to these measures, Doctor Antonio Carlos Bandera, member of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI), highlights the essential role of the authorities. It is imperative that municipal and state health departments make efforts and that the government encourages new technologies to combat the disease.
He argues: “It is necessary to invest in science and technology, in research.” For him, this is the only way to advance towards a new horizon of the dengue epidemic.
The symptoms of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are similar. It includes sudden fever accompanied by headache, body and joint pain, prostration, weakness, pain behind the eyes, rash and itchy skin, red spots on the body, in addition to nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
The ministry directs that, in the face of such signs, citizens search for the nearest health unit to their place of residence as soon as possible.
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