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The rainy season is here again, and with it comes dengue fever. While the disease brought about by Aedes mosquitoes is now considered endemic in tropical and sub-tropical nations including the Philippines, peak transmission still happens during the rainy season, from May to November.
While some patients only experience high fever, joint pain, and rashes, and recover with no serious complications, some experience dengue shock syndrome (DSS) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). These require hospitalization and can even lead to death.
Because there is still no specific cure against dengue, control and prevention fall on our hands. Here are some easy measures you can adopt to maintain a dengue-free household.
1. Clean water containers regularly. Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant waters. Common household items like water containers, flower vases, and wet trash bins can serve as breeding grounds. Keep these covered and change water daily to get rid of mosquito eggs. Do the same for roof gutters, bathtubs, and pools.
2. Invest in net screens. Cover your windows and doors with screens to prevent mosquitoes and other bugs from coming in
3. Wear protective clothing that covers arms and legs. Long-sleeved shirts and pants or pajamas are ideal.
4. Use environment-friendly bug repellants. Ces Drilon’s Vagabond Farms formulated a bug spray using thyme, citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, basil, cinnamon, lemongrass, lavender, geranium, and patchouli essential oils in a citronella tincture of plant-based ethyl alcohol. All these oils act as natural mosquito repellants that protect you from insect bites without harsh odors or chemicals.
5. Protect your kids with an all-natural insect repellant. Sting-less by Ilog Maria has citronella, lemongrass, and other plant oils, as well as propolis. This combination naturally repels mosquitoes and is safe for kids.
6. Aside from using natural mosquito repellants on your skin, you can also spray these in rooms, on your sheets, and even on your clothing. Mosquito coils may be effective but exposure to its smoke poses health dangers.
7. Going out? Keep a citronella repellant gel handy. This good-to-go gel from G Stuff comes with a clip that you can easily hang to your bag. The VCO oil spray is also small enough to fit in your purse.
If you become sick with dengue, you’ll have to take painkillers like paracetamol to ease fever and pain. You will also be advised by your doctor to get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
To help alleviate symptoms, you can also reach for tawa-tawa. Keeping tawa-tawa concentrate in your medicine cabinet will prove helpful.
Tawa-tawa, also known as “gatas-gatasan”, is a hairy herb that naturally grows in open grasslands and roadsides. This plant is widely considered a folkloric treatment for dengue. Clinical trials have shown that tawa-tawa, either in the form of tea or powder capsules, can raise platelets in dengue patients.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. By following these tips on how to maintain a clean household and protect yourself and your family using natural products, you can avoid dengue and also protect the environment.