How to prevent dengue spread

By  , Expert Content
Apr 04, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Dengue is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus.
  • Use insect repellent DEET at home.
  • Change water in coolers, pools, rain barrels, and potted plant.
  • Wear protective clothing like long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

Dengue fever (DF) is a viral infection caused by dengue virus which is transmitted by mosquito bite, Aedes aegypti mosquito, which bites during the day.

Dengue preventionIt can be caused by any of four related dengue viruses (DENV-1 to DENV-4). Also referred to as ‘break-bone’ fever because it causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking. Dengue infection can vary in severity from mild acute febrile illness or can be even fatal.


According to global strategy for dengue prevention and control (2012–2020) by WHO, the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold during the past five decades. Some 50–100 million new infections are estimated to occur annually in more than 100 endemic countries.

As of now, there is no certain vaccine for dengue and no specific drug that can treat dengue infection. Hence, prevention is very important (especially when you travel to an endemic area or live in an endemic area).The prevention of dengue is a two-pronged approach – precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and control breeding of mosquito.


What you can do to prevent mosquito bites

  • Close the windows at dawn and dusk (active mosquito times) to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house.
  • Wear protective clothing like long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • You can apply permethrin (a common synthetic chemical insecticide) to your clothing and shoes.
  • Clothes pretreated with permethrin are also available.
  • Use insect repellent. DEET insect repellent is available as liquids, lotions, and sprays. Apply 10-30 percent DEET insect repellent on your exposed skin. Choose the concentration of DEET insect repellent depending on the hours of protection you need. Higher concentration of DEET, gives you longer protection.
  • Do not allow children to wear shorts and half sleeved clothes
  • Mosquito that transmits dengue infection usually lives indoor and is found in dark, cool places like in closets, under beds, behind curtains, and in bathrooms. Use flying-insect spray to kill mosquitoes in these areas.
  • Use flying-insect spray in sleeping area to kill mosquitoes.
  • If you use a mosquito net, prefer one treated with insecticide


What you can do to control mosquitoes around your home

  • Remove the place where they live and breed (i.e. their habitat).
  • Remove standing water from places where mosquitoes can breed like gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers or any other container.
  • Clear and change the water in coolers, pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to eliminate possible mosquito habitats.
  • Regularly treat and circulate the water in swimming pool.



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