Good morning/afternoon everyone, I’m sure you all know that dengue is a serious problem now, but how much about dengue do you really know?
Today I’ll be sharing with you more information about dengue, meant for all schools, from The National Environment Agency. I will explain how dengue is spread and what we can do to stop it. Please listen carefully as dengue can strike anyone…you and me.
So what is dengue fever? Dengue fever is an illness caused by the dengue virus which is spread by the Aedes mosquito.
How do you know if you have dengue fever? You have dengue fever if you have a fever that does not go away even after a few days; You may also experience headaches, muscle and joint pains, skin rash, and vomiting.
Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever are the most common diseases spread by the Aedes mosquitoes. The mosquitoes can carry 4 different types of dengue viruses hence you can be infected with dengue fever more than once. If you had dengue fever before and are infected again, you are more likely to develop the more deadly and serious dengue haemorrhagic fever.
Now I’ll tell you about the Aedes mosquito which spreads dengue. 1) You can identify an Aedes mosquitoe from other mosquitoes by the black & white stripes on its body and legs. Because of this, it is also known as the ‘tiger mosquito. 2) It usually bites during the day. 3) The Aedes mosquito lays its eggs in clean, stagnant water. A pool of water as small as a twenty cent coin is all that is needed for it to breed.
Only the female mosquitoes feed on blood, as they need the blood protein to lay their eggs. Despite a short life span of two to three weeks, each female Aedes mosquito is able to lay up to 300 eggs.
As seen in this diagram of the Aedes mosquito’s life cycle, it only takes about a week for the mosquito complete the 4 stages consisting of the egg, larva and pupa stage before it becomes an adult mosquito. As one female mosquito lays up to 300 eggs each time, just imagine how many mosquitoes can be hatched!
We all know by now that the Aedes mosquito spreads the dengue virus, but how exactly do they do it? Mosquitoes cannot transmit the dengue virus amongst themselves, they need to first bite a person who is already infected with the dengue virus. The infected mosquito will then carry the dengue virus and pass it onto a healthy person when it bites him/her and causing them to fall sick. The cycle then continues with the new victim.
So now that you know more about the dengue, what can you do to stop it?
The most important thing you need to do is to stop the Aedes mosquito from breeding. Remove all stagnant water. Don’t let it lay its eggs.
Here are the 10-minute mozzie wipe out exercise that you could work on to help get rid of stagnant water in and around your house.
Change water in vases on alternate days.
Remove water from flower-pot plates on alternate day.
Turn over all pails and water storage containers.
Tell your parents or any adults in your house to cover bamboo pole holders when they are not in use.
And tell your parents or any adults in your house to clear blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly.
Do not litter. Rubbish such as cups ad bottles can collect rain water and breed mosquitoes.
If you are going on holiday and there is no one in your house, there are a few things you should do before you leave to stop mosquitoes from breeding.
Cover all toilet bowls in your home. Seal off the overflow pipe of the flushing cistern. Cover all gully/floor traps. This prevents mosquitoes from getting to the water inside these places and breeding when you are away. Add sand granular insecticide to places that mosquitoes could potentially breed, such as flower vases and places where stagnant water could not be removed.
Clear blockages and add Bti insecticide in roof gutters. Ask a relative or close friend to check your home regularly for stagnant water if you are going away for a long period of time. Leave your contact with your neighbours or the neighbourhood police post / centre you can be reached easily.
You can also help prevent dengue by telling people what you have learned today. Tell your family, friends and neighbours why mosquito breeding is bad and how they can help stop it.
If you want to know more about dengue, you can visit the website www.dengue.gov.sg for more information.
We will now have a quiz to test how much you have learnt about dengue and Aedes mosquito. We are giving away some tokens for those who answer correctly.
Only the female Aedes mosquito feeds on blood. This is because they need the protein found in blood to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectar.
On average, a female Aedes mosquito can lay about 300 eggs during her life span of 14 to 21 days.
Do you know…
Life cycle of the Aedes Mosquito 1-2 days Stagnant water Pupae 4-5 days Larvae Eggs 2-3 days
How Do Aedes Mosquitoes Transmit Diseases... Mosquito bites and sucks blood containing the virus from an infected person. Virus is carried in its body. And passes the virus to healthy people when it bites them.