Puerto Vallarta Beach News: Dengue

What Should You Do About Dengue?

One thing we’ve learned about dengue (pronounced den-gay) is that dengue mosquitoes aren’t looking for murky water. They breed in clean, clear water. This is very important to know when doing our own home inspections. In Puerto Vallarta, teams from the Department of Health, wearing bright colored vests and carrying official identification, go house to house, looking for possible breeding grounds. One year, they found just such a thing in our laundry room, where a bucket had sat and collected rain water. We were completely unaware of this situation, not having been in the annexed room for a couple days. The Health Department people didn’t shame us, but we were certainly schooled. Mosquitoes, dengue and otherwise, can breed in something as small as an overturned bottle cap, sitting innocently in the yard. Mosquitoes aren’t big, but they are mighty. It is imperative to check every day and not be caught out like we were, having thought we not only keep a very clean and healthy house, but resting on the idea we didn’t need to be diligent on a daily basis.

Look for any vessel that can hold water, be it a piece of PVC used for drainage or fencing; neglected pots intended for planting at a later date; kiddy pools; empty pop cans, paper cups, and other debris that should be tied up in garbage, recycle bags or bins.

Dengue and other mosquito transmitted viruses are a part of living in the tropics, regardless of where you reside or visit. Mosquitoes and other biting insects are here all year around. Dengue mosquitoes are seasonal; they are attracted to Puerto Vallarta during the rainy season.

In research to find out whether we can pass the virus along, we found out that we can’t pass it to humans but we surely can give it to other mosquitoes. Since the virus circulates in the blood of the infected human, we become a primary source for uninfected mosquitoes. Repellent is you best friend and you must use a product that contains DEET, which is the only repellent that effectively works. Spray it on your skin and on your clothing. It will act as a barrier to the mosquitoes and send them on their way.

Several strands of dengue exist. If you, or any family member have signs of malaise, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, unusual bruising, go see your doctor, or check in at a clinic or ER, immediately. Dengue is known as the bone-aching disease; it’s likely your bones will feel like they are being hammered, though it’s not the only symptom. If it’s just the flu, then you can go home and rest and continue to use repellent. But if it is dengue, you want an early diagnosis to avoid complications. Don’t use aspirin; it acts as a blood thinner and will cause further problems. Paracetamol and acetaminophen only, as prescribed, and a minimum of three liters of water per day. And… repellent, repellent, repellent.

Que cómo es es.

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