Danger of dengue now more seriousBy Theresa S. Samaniego
Philippine Daily Inquirer
While this known fact is already a cause for concern, what should really ring those alarm bells is another fact: the incidence and threat of dengue continue to rise, year after year, as stated in the report of the Philippine Association of Entomologists (PAE).
In a briefing, PAE secretary Dr. Barbara Laviña Caoili revealed on Thursday that there are already 16,511 reported cases as of March 2012 and of that figure, 10 cases have resulted to death. Dengue hotspots as of end-March this year were identified to be the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Visayas (Region 8), Soccsksargen (Region 12) and Calabarzon (Region 4-A).
According to Caoili, the rising incidence of dengue cases can be attributed to the encroachment of humans into the natural habitat of dengue-lamok, climate change and global warming, widespread travel, global trade, weak mosquito control, and changing survival capabilities.
Public awareness needed
It also does not help when the public is not adequately informed of dengue, its nature, the causes and effects as well as the various preventive measures that can be taken to ward off those deadly bites.
For instance, contrary to popular belief, dengue-carrying mosquitoes do not strike only during the rainy season, nor do they bite only during the day.
“Dengue can be a yearlong threat in the Philippines, during both the dry and wet seasons as long as there are breeding sites for the dengue-lamok. It has also become a round-the-clock threat, with dengue-lamok biting during the day as well as at night. For these reasons, we also need yearlong, round-the-clock protection from dengue,” Caoili warned.
A clinical study conducted by Filipino entomologists confirmed that a certain species of the dengue-carrying mosquito bite not only during the day but at night as well. This breakthrough discovery debunked earlier reports stating that the threat of a dengue-lamok bite is only crucial during daytime and that there is no real threat come nighttime.
Based on previous reports, dengue—a disease initially manifested with fever—is caused by a bite of the Aedes aegypti, a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels and old rubber tires. When left undetected and untreated, dengue could lead to a number of complications and even death.
“This new study shows that the danger of dengue is now more serious, since infection can occur both during the day and at night,” Caoili said.
Dengue virus vectors
A group of Filipino entomologists have observed that another species, the Aedes albopictus, can also cause dengue and is increasingly present in human dwelling places. A laboratory study on the Aedes albopictus showed that the said species would bite most aggressively from late afternoon, stretching up to nighttime.
“The presence of both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in places where people live will make dengue a round-the-clock threat,” Caoili said.
Previously, researchers did not pay much attention to the Aedes albopictus because Aedes aegypti, being the primary dengue virus vector, was known to be the most common source of dengue infections in humans. Results of that study however, showed that Aedes albopictus, known as a secondary vector of dengue virus, also presents as much danger to humans.
And if people do not prepare and take notice, the incidence of dengue infection will continue to rise.
This is why the makers of Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion are encouraging the public to secure protection from these deadly bites—and one way to do this is to use an insect repellant lotion that would give them protection against dengue-lamok bite all throughout the day and night.
One such product is the new Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion which is endorsed by the Philippine Association of Entomologists as effective against dengue-lamok.
Makers of Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion claimed that the product provides longer protection time compared to other brands, has anti-bacterial protection and is likewise hypoallergenic and kid-friendly as well.
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