20240522 dengue
Image of anti-mosquito treatment used for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has issued guidelines on how to prevent dengue fever, sharing tips for curbing the spread of mosquitoes at construction sites and industrial areas, how to avoid getting bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the virus, and measures to be taken if someone gets infected.

Over the past few days, MoHAP took to social media to share the guidelines and tips.

To effectively prevent mosquito infestations and dengue fever in industrial and construction sites, as well as in residential areas, it is important to implement comprehensive strategies, MoHAP noted.

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Curbing the spread of mosquitoes

The Ministry listed the following preventive measures to avoid the spread of mosquitoes in construction sites and industrial areas.

  • Ensure proper water drainage by inspecting and maintaining drainage systems to help prevent water stagnation.
  • Apply insecticides that are specifically approved for industrial use to control mosquito populations.
  • Seal containers to prevent water accumulation.
  • Cover pits and foundations that could collect water and provide breeding environments for mosquitoes
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to minimise exposure.

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Prevention of bites

The Ministry pointed out that the mosquito that transmits dengue fever, Aedes aegypti, is active during the daytime, and provided the following preventive measures to avoid getting bitten.

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites, such as water containers, present inside or outside the home.
  • Cover, drain, and clean water tanks and containers weekly, including water in indoor plant pots.
  • Use insect repellent creams inside and outside the home.
  • Maintain cleanliness in the home, especially in damp areas like the kitchen and bathrooms, and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Wear long clothes that cover as much of your body as possible.
  • Use window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
  • Avoid transporting plants and seedlings from outside the country.
  • Use ready-made insecticides available in retail stores to kill flying insects.

Health measures

There are several health measures you can take if you have dengue fever, the Ministry said, urging residents to take the following steps if they get infected.

  • Ensure adequate rest to help the body recover, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • It is important to note that the Ministry has asked residents to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, if they are infected with dengue fever.
  • It urged people to watch for any symptoms and promptly seek medical help.

Symptoms and detection

If you experience the below mentioned symptoms, you should consult a doctor at the nearest health centre or hospital to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for your condition, the Ministry had stated earlier.

Common symptoms include:

  • High fever (around 40°C)
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

“After the severe fever fades, symptoms of severe dengue fever often emerge,” the Ministry highlighted.

  • Severe symptoms may include the following:
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Bleeding gums or nose
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Extreme weakness

Dengue is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. About half of the world’s population is now at risk of dengue. An estimated 100-400 million infections occur annually. Dengue fever appears in many countries and climates due to climate change, the ministry pointed out.

You can lower your risk of dengue by avoiding mosquito bites.

Visit a healthcare provider if symptoms are present for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Most people infected with dengue fever do not show symptoms, but sometimes the condition can become severe. Dengue fever is diagnosed through blood tests.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for dengue and supportive care includes pain management and hydration.

Nationwide efforts

Earlier, in May, MoHAP had revealed nationwide efforts deployed to combat dengue fever.

In a written response to a question from the Federal National Council (FNC) on tacking the disease, the Ministry had then said: “The government established nine specialised teams to combat dengue fever, eliminate 409 mosquito breeding sites, provide an insect laboratory, and conduct 1,200 surveys [regarding mosquitoes] in cooperation with the competent authorities in the emirates.”

There are an estimated 134 health facilities to provide appropriate health and treatment services for dengue fever patients, the Ministry had added.

Prior to that, various entities in the country had joined forces to minimise mosquito infestation across various locations across the country, after the country experienced record rainfall in April, increasing the spread of mosquitoes in water pools and damp areas.

Even before that, an anti-mosquito campaign had been launched in its first phase in February 2022. The current phase, which is part of the efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and reduce their spread in various locations and places, will continue until May 2025, the authorities had said.