Couple of years ago, my house had problem with mosquitoes. You see, my neighbour decided to stop maintaining his backyard and consequence to that, his backyard became a jungle!
At that time, we had tenants staying in the annexure of our house. The annexure faced the so-called “jungle”. Couple with the fact that my garden is pretty huge, we had mosquitoes all around our house!
Subsequently, one of my tenants caught dengue fever. She started having fever but she kept quiet about it – probably thinking that it was normal fever. Fortunately, we spotted red rashes on her arms and quickly sent her to a hospital. She was diagnosed with last stage dengue fever! Fortunately, after being hospitalized for a week, she made full recovery thereafter. If we didn’t see the red rashes, our tenant would probably be dead. Carrying a dead body out from my house is the last thing I want to do. Uhhh
Dengue fever is very common in Malaysia. I know a nurse whose young daughter died of dengue fever. Before her death, the nurse’s husband went missing and could not be found. What a sad life.
It is important to know the symptoms of dengue fever. According to expat.com.my, the symptoms are as follow:-
The signs and symptoms of Dengue fever are as follows:
- High fever (104 F, 40°C)
- Red eyes, pain in the eyes
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Deep muscle and joint pains (during first hours of illness)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure and heart rate
- Extreme fatigue
Basically, dengue commences with high fever and other signs as listed above for 2 to 4 days. Then, the temperature drops rapidly and intense sweating takes place. After about a day with normal temperature and a feeling of well-being, the temperature rises abruptly again. Rashes (small red bumps) show up on the arms, legs and the entire body simultaneously along with fever. However, rashes rarely occur on the face. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet may be swollen and bright red. Although the patient may feel exhausted for several weeks, most cases of dengue take approximately one week to recover. Once a person recovers from dengue, he or she will have antibodies in their bloodstream which will prevent them from having a relapse for about a year.
Prevention is better than cure. If you have a garden or some containers lying around, you may want to follow the guidelines provided by Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA)
At all times
- Turn pails and watering cans over.
- Remove water in plant pot plates. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid the use of plant pot plates, if possible.
- Loosen soil from potted plants to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water on the surface of the hardened soil.
- Do not block the flow of water in scupper drains along common corridors. Avoid placing potted plants and other paraphernalia over the scupper drains.
- Cover rarely used gully traps. Replace the gully trap with non-perforated ones and install anti-mosquito valves.
- Cover bamboo pole holders after use. Rainwater can potentially accumulate in these bamboo pole holders if they are uncovered and create a habitat.
- Remove air-conditioner trays as the condensate could accumulate on them, which present an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Instead, redirect the condensate to bathrooms or toilets.
Every other day
Change water in flower vases. Clean and scrub the inner sides of vases. Wash roots of flowers and plants thoroughly as mosquito eggs can stick to them easily.
Once a week
Clear fallen leaves and stagnant water in your scupper drains and garden. These leaves collect water or cause chokages to the drains thus resulting in the buildup of stagnant water.
Once a month
- Add prescribed amounts of sand granular insecticide into vases, gully traps and roof gutters, even if they are dry.
- Clear away fallen leaves in roof gutters and apron drains. If structurally feasible, remove the roof gutters.
Alternatively, beat the sh*t out of them when you see one!
Check out http://www.gayahidupsihat.my for more information!