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Dengue & You

Different Types of Dengue & How To Prevent It!

Types of Dengue

Dengue infections are caused by four closely related viruses named DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4.

These four viruses are called serotypes because each has different interactions with the antibodies in human blood serum. The four dengue viruses are similar — they share approximately 65% of their genomes — but even within a single serotype, there is some genetic variation.

Despite these variations, infection with each of the dengue serotypes results in the same disease and range of clinical symptoms.

Both DEN-1 and DEN-2 were found in Central America and Africa, and all four serotypes were present in Southeast Asia.

By 2004, however, the geographical distribution of the four serotypes had spread widely. Now all four dengue serotypes circulate together in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

How to prevent Dengue?

You can protect yourself and your loved ones against dengue fever by taking the following precautions:

  • Protect yourself against mosquito bites

  • Prevent mosquito breeding inside and outside your home

  • Avoid visiting areas prone to mosquitoes

1. Apply mosquito repellent, ideally one containing DEET.

  • Apply it to exposed skin and/or clothing, using enough to cover the entire area. Do not apply it under clothing.

  • Do not apply it on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

  • Do not apply it near the eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.

  • When using sprays, never spray directly on the face. Spray it on your hands first and then apply it to your face. Wash your hands afterwards.

  • Do not allow children to handle a repellent. When using it on children, apply it to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying it to children’s hands.

  • Do not use an insect repellent for infants under two months of age.

2. Wear long-sleeves and long pants to cover your arms and legs.

3. Use mosquito nets while sleeping.

“If you or your child gets a rash or any other negative reaction from an insect repellent, wash it off with mild soap and water and stop using the product. Consult a doctor if the condition persists,” says Dr Chua Ying Ying.

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