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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

War On Dengue (& Chikungunya)

As far as parenting is concern, some news just doesn't sit right with me. For example:

Taken from
Tuesday January 20, 2009

War on dengue

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has declared war on dengue following an alarming rise in cases and related deaths in the first two weeks of the year.

Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai also raised an alarm against chikungunya, which has seen a sharp rise in the number of cases from last year.

Liow, who described the spike in cases as “unusual”, warned that the situation could worsen if there was not enough co-operation from all parties involved.

Go here for the full story.

After almost 6 years of being parents, one thing still freaks my wife and I out, sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot, is when our kids fall sick. If you're living in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur (Wilayah Persekutuan) and Selangor area, dengue fever is something that we're always watching out for.

But wait, I know about dengue fever, but what in the world is this Chikungunya virus they are talking about? Well if you have not read about it, the Aedes mosquito is the carrier of both Dengue and Chikungunya virus.

First, let's take a look at the little buggers,

From Wikipedia:
The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti (=Stegomyia aegypti, =Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti), is a mosquito that can spread the dengue fever, Chikungunya and yellow fever viruses, and other diseases as well. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings on legs and a marking of the form of a lyre on the thorax. The mosquito originated from Africa[1] but is now found in the tropics worldwide[2].

Aedes Mosquito - See it, Fear it, KILL IT!

Aedes mosquitoes are most active early morning and late evening. Avoid bringing your child/children out at those times and avoid bringing them to crowded places as the mosquitoes spread the diseases through bites. I know it's kinda hard sometimes, but at least try avoiding public places such as shopping complexes that you know have a lot of mosquitoes, especially at places with high dengue cases.

Quick facts on Dengue and Chikungunya:

To make it easier for you to read, I've compiled information about
Dengue Fever and Chikungunya I collected from various sources and tabulated it. Hope this is helpful. I will provide the links to the sources at the end of this post so that you can go and read more about it.

Dengue FeverChikungunya
Incubation PeriodApproximately 4 daysRanging from 3 - 12 days, usually 3 - 7 days
Signs & Symptoms

Sudden burst of continuous high fever (3 - 7 days)

Red rashes on skin (may appear as fever reduces)

Acute pain in bones, muscles, joints, eye-balls and head

Loss of appetite


Stomach Pain

Bleeding from body, nose and mouth

Sudden onset of high fever

Redness with rashes appearing on the hand, leg and body


Severe joint pains

Nausea and vomiting

Redness of the eyes

Fever can occur for a period from 1 - 7 days (usually 5 days)

(Commonly mistaken for dengue fever)

Rush to hospital when

High fever with bleeding symptoms

Suspect Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF)(Severe Dengue with complications)

Blood spots under the skin (petechiae)

Bleeding from gums

Nose Bleeding (epistaxis)

Vomiting blood (hematemesis)

when acompanying normal dengue symptoms

In Malaysia, Chikungunya has never been reported as causing haemorrhage ordeath
Care & Treatment

No specific treatment, must let it run it's course

Use supportive care - pain relief, drink fluids, rest

- Use Panadol (paracetamol)

- Do NOT use aspirin (salicyclic acid)

- Do NOT use ibuprofen

Watch out for bleeding symptoms (DHF)

No specific treatment

treated symptomatically (treating for specific symptoms)

Majority need only outpatient treatment

VaccineNo vaccineNo vaccine

There are four types of dengue viruses DEN1, DEN2, DEN3 & DEN4. A person infected with one type of dengue will subsequently only be immune to that type. They will not be immune to other types of dengue and will, in fact, be at risk of developing severe symptoms if they contract another type of dengue.

Most patients who have been infected will be immune for life.

Is it Contagious?It is not contagious, in other words one human can't directly pass to another human. However an aedes mosquito after biting an infected person can transmit the disease by biting someone elseSame as dengue

One of the best way to battle these diseases is to prevent the Aedes mosquitoes from breeding. Click the below flyers/posters provided by to learn how to do it.


Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

Do visit these sites for more information on Dengue Fever and Chikungunya:
1. Wikipedia (on Aedes Aegypti)
2. Info Sihat (for both diseases)
3. World Health Organisation (WHO) (for Dengue Fever)
4. Queensland Government website (for Dengue Fever)
5. (for Dengue Fever)
6. (for Chikungunya)



Sheldon said...

We need to fight Dengue fever because it can really make us suffer. When we feel some signs and symptoms, go immediately to the doctor and have a test using elisa kits. These may help in detecting diseases such as dengue fever.

International nursing recruitment said...

Thanks for sharing.....
Very Informative....

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