Prevention of Dengue fever


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Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Dengue fever mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Dengue fever.

Prevention of Dengue fever: The best way to prevent dengue fever is to take special precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. Several dengue vaccines are being developed, but none is likely to be licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the next few years.

When outdoors in an area where dengue fever has been found,

  • Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET.
  • Dress in protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.

Because Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, be sure to use precautions especially during early morning hours before daybreak and in the late afternoon before dark.

Other precautions include

  • Keep unscreened windows and doors closed.
  • Keep window and door screens repaired.
  • Get rid of areas where mosquitoes breed, such as standing water in flower pots or discarded tires.

CAN DENGUE FEVER LEAD TO OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS?

Most people who develop dengue fever recover completely within two weeks. Some, however, may go through several weeks of feeling tired and/or depressed.

Others develop severe bleeding problems. This complication, dengue hemorrhagic fever, is a very serious illness which can lead to shock (very low blood pressure) and is sometimes fatal, especially in children and young adults.

NIAID RESEARCH

Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are trying to develop a vaccine against dengue by modifying an existing vaccine for yellow fever. Researchers in NIAID laboratories in Bethesda, Maryland, are using weakened and harmless versions of dengue viruses as potential vaccine candidates against dengue and related viruses.

Other researchers supported by NIAID are investigating ways to prevent dengue viruses from reproducing inside mosquitoes.

Because dengue virus has only recently emerged as a growing global threat, scientists know little about how the virus infects cells and causes disease. New research is beginning to shed light on how the virus interacts with humans — how it damages cells and how the human immune system responds to dengue virus invasion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
1-888-232-3228
http://www.cdc.gov/

U.S. National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
301-496-6308
http://medlineplus.gov/

World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
41-22-791-21-11
http://www.who.int/ 1

No dengue vaccine is available. Recently, however, attenuated candidate vaccine viruses have been developed in Thailand. These vaccines are safe and immunogenic when given in various formulations, including a quadrivalent vaccine for all four dengue virus serotypes. Efficacy trials in human volunteers have yet to be initiated. Research is also being conducted to develop second-generation recombinant vaccine viruses; the Thailand attenuated viruses are used as a template. Therefore, an effective dengue vaccine for public use will not be available for 5 to 10 years. 2

There is no vaccine for preventing dengue. The best preventive measure for residents living in areas infested with Aedes aegypti is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water.

Items that collect rainwater or are used to store water (for example, plastic containers, 55-gallon drums, buckets, or used automobile tires) should be covered or properly discarded. Pet and animal watering containers and vases with fresh flowers should be emptied and scoured at least once a week. This will eliminate the mosquito eggs and larvae and reduce the number of mosquitoes present in these areas.

For travelers to areas with dengue, a well as people living in areas with dengue, the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes indoors is reduced by utilization of air conditioning or windows and doors that are screened. Proper application of mosquito repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. The risk of dengue infection for international travelers appears to be small, unless an epidemic is in progress.3

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Dengue Fever: NIAID
2. excerpt from CDC Dengue Fever Home Page: DVBID
3. excerpt from Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: Questions and Answers: DVBID

Last revision: May 27, 2003

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