Dengue is a serious problem and more must be done to reduce the cases.
Dengue is a serious health scourge in Malaysia. Since the first recorded dengue case in the country more than a century ago, the disease has escalated into a public health concern, especially in the 1970s.
Spread by factors that have made it possible for mosquitoes to thrive, there’s one more explosive revelation in the equation that has contributed to the rise of dengue cases. Ready? Here it is:
Fumigation is one of the methods used to reduce the spread of dengue.
Mosquitoes are developing resistance to insecticides frequently used in fumigation. This is bad news as Malaysia is already fighting a hard battle against the disease.
(Get a chock-full of dengue statistics in our previous article.)
To counter this effect, experts suggest rotating the fumigation chemicals every six months.
The authorities are doing all they can to curb dengue, such as introducing vector control method and a dengue vaccine for trial.
And thanks to the advancement in science and technology, somebody out there is always figuring out a better way to do things. Here it is:
THE AI WAY TO FIGHTING DENGUE
Those concerned with the dengue epidemic can now download an app for free called AIME (Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology). Developed by a team headed by Malaysian epidemiologist Dr Dhesi Baha Raja, the disease-prediction mobile platform employs technology and data to predict dengue outbreak. It receives support from webe community as well as the Ministry of Health, Malaysia among others.
The app can forecast the dengue outbreak up to three months in advance by using artificial intelligence methods. This is combined with heavy epidemiological research and public health best practices to help identify and limit the effects of deadly outbreaks in advance.
However, the old-fashioned way works best. All one needs to do is prevent the conditions that encourage mosquitoes to breed because once this happens, the mosquitoes will disappear.
Mosquitoes thrive in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
It has been said time and again that a clean environment is the best measure against dengue. And a lot of care and vigilance is required during the rainy seasons to avoid water from pooling in the drains and puddles around one’s house.
Gotong-royong (mass clean-up) should be revived at hot spot residential areas and done more often, too. Besides enjoying a clean living, the exercise promotes camaraderie and physical activity.
BASIC INFO: Dengue is spread through a bite from the Aedes mosquito infected with the dengue virus. And when the virus enters the body, it attacks the white blood cells. Subsequently, the person infected with the virus will exhibit signs and symptoms of the disease such as fever, flu-like symptoms and severe pains.
Mosquitoes thrive mostly in hot and humid areas, making the disease very prevalent in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world.
As of now, there is no specific medicine for the dengue virus, and treatments are always aimed at relieving the symptoms.
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