Life in the little red dot is pretty idyllic, warm weather all year long! It feels nice not to have to layering up clothes in winter! With high temperature and sunshine, when weekend arrives some like splashing around water. Others like to stay sheltered and will seek for green areas, and opt for a hike in Mac Ritchie. For a relaxing Sunday, some will go to the Botanic Garden to listen to the "concert in the park". Unfortunately, mosquitoes enjoy the same spots.
However, all these nice places we seek in Singapore have nearby stagnant water. Water and especially stagnant water go with mosquitoes. Naturally, mosquitoes prefer to breed in stagnant water. Itchy mosquito bites are annoying, but we can get pass it easily with a bit of smoothing cream. Nonetheless, some of these bites can be more important than just itchy. Some mosquitoes can spread virus. Therefore, it is good to know how to avoid and limit mosquito bites to stay away from these virus.
Don't worry too much, Singapore is safe with intense weekly anti-mosquito fumigations in our condos. This limits the proliferation of mosquitoes in Singapore. Comparing to other South East Asia countries like Indonesia, the risk of infection reminds lower in the Merlion city.
What is Dengue fever?
Dengue fever virus spreads through mosquito bites. The disease usually develops within 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious and does not spread directly from person to person.
Symptoms include; sudden onset of fever for 2 to 7 days, severe headache with a pain behind the eye (retro-orbital), joint and muscle pain, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, bleeding from the nose or gums. The fever is usually more violent with kids, which can be impressive to see.
If you suspect you or your children may be contaminated, seek immediate medical attention. There are different type of virus, including a severe one called Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever that would need hospitalization and could result in death.
There is no specific treatment for dengue.
What about Zika?
Zika virus is spread by the bite of the female Aedes mosquito, same one that spreads the Dengue Fever. In Singapore, Zika is quite low currently, however it is advised pregnant women avoid getting bitten by any mosquito.
There is no specific treatment for Zika.
How to prevent infection from mosquitoes?
As there is no specific treatment for neither Dengue or Zikka, the best defense is to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. In order to do so, doctors advice to:
- Use insect repellents
- Wear long-sleeved clothing
- Avoid green areas at dawn and dusk
- Keep windows closed if you live in an area of mosquito infestation.
- Get rid of stagnant water in your home, or garden, which can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Although it is not easy to clearly see the mosquitoes, Aedes mosquitoes (responsible for both Dengue and Zika) are identifiable by their distinctive black and white stripes.
To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles.
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