Dengue is one of the most serious illnesses that anyone can incur – it’s life-threatening if you don’t get the right treatment. The information below should keep you updated about the disease and how to protect yourself and your family from it.
Avoid being bitten by a mosquito, especially when you’re pregnant as it can harm your unborn baby
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes that have Aedes aegypti. If you are pregnant and you are bitten by an infected mosquito, the virus may also harm your baby. You should get the proper treatment once you are infected as this serious illness can lead to death of your unborn child, low birth weight and premature birth.
Moreover, if you just incurred dengue while you’re delivering your baby then the child may develop the illness for the first two weeks of life. To protect yourself from developing dengue virus while pregnant, you have to use mosquito repellants that have up to 50% DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Some products that contain these ingredients are OFF, Repel and Cutter. You may ask your doctor about it to ensure that it’s safe for you.
How to protect your baby from developing dengue (babies 4 to 12 months of age are at a higher risk for this disease)
- Make sure that your baby’s crib, stroller and carrier have netting all day, indoors and outdoors.
- Ask your baby’s doctor what product your baby can use to protect him or her from mosquito bites.
- Repellants are not recommended for use on babies below 2 months of age.
- Dress your babies in clothing that keeps his or her arms and legs fully covered.
How to know if you are infected with dengue
You will know if you have dengue if you experience the following symptoms:
- You have high fever that is over 38 degrees Celsius
- You are experiencing severe headache
- Your eyes are hurting with movement
- Extreme muscle pains especially in the bones and joints
- Your gums are bleeding
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to detect dengue in babies. But some signs that you could watch out for are high fever, fussiness, agitation, irritability and lack of appetite. Immediately see your doctor whenever you suspect that you and your baby are experiencing symptoms of dengue fever.