This 2nd post about Dengue, following our previous post about "Dengue and Dengvaxia (the Dengue vaccine)", explains the "5 Step Mozzie Wipe-out".
The aim of the "Wipe-out" is to prevent the breeding of the Aede's mosquito and subsequently from biting your family and loved ones.
The key in the mozzie wipe-out is to prevent and avoid stagnant water pools which the mosquitoes breed in. The steps are shown below (from: www.dengue.gov.sg)
Step 1: Overturn all containers (e.g. pails) to avoid collection of stagnant water.
Step 2: Change water in all vase(s) on alternate days - avoid stagnant water!
Step 3: Drain all flower pot plates on alternate days. Scrub the surface to remove potential mosquito eggs. Dried out mosquito eggs can survive for up to 6 months!
Step 4: Loosen hardened soil to allow better water permeability for your potted plants and flowers; thereby avoiding stagnant water pools.
Step 5: Clear all roof gutters and apply anti-mosquito (BTI - Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) insecticide monthly!
The added bonus of fighting Dengue is that it also helps avoid Zika!
Q: What is dengue?
A: Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection endemic to Singapore and the tropics worldwide. It is an unpleasant but self limiting viral fever with other features like headache, vomiting, joint & muscle aches and rash. A small proportion of cases can develop into severe dengue which may present with life threatening bleeding.
Q: How can I avoid it?
A: The key is to prevent Aedes mosquito breeding and avoid getting bites. Doing the 5 step mozzie wipeout can help. A new development is the arrival of the first dengue vaccine approved by HSA in Singapore - Dengvaxia.
Q: What is Dengvaxia?
A: It is the first vaccine licensed against dengue in Singapore, indicated for ages 12 to 45 years. Three injections are required at 6 month intervals.
Read also this article in the Straits Times!
Q: How effective is dengue vaccine?
A: As with all vaccines, it cannot prevent 100% of infections. It has varying effectivity against different strains of dengue. Overall it reduces symptomatic infections by 69.2%, the need for hospitalisation by 81.3% and severe dengue by 95.5%.
Q: Should I get the vaccine?
A: It is a live vaccine so it may not be suitable for everybody. Consultation with your doctor is advised to discuss the risks and benefits for each particular case. The current evidence shows that although you can still get infected after vaccination, the risk of severe dengue or death is reduced.
Q: I’ve had dengue before - should I vaccinate?
A: There are 4 main strains of dengue circulating in South-East Asia so it may be possible to get re-infected more than once. The risk of severe dengue infection is greater in subsequent infections.
Vaccination with Dengvaxia is more effective in patients who have had prior dengue infections and can reduce the risk of severe dengue.
Q: Where can I get this vaccine?
A: Come on down to Katong Family Clinic and speak to our Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) for more information to protect you, yourself and your family!
Have you vaccinated your daughter against HPV? HPV or Human Papillomavirus is the most common cause of cervical cancer accounting for about 70% of cases. Preventive vaccination is Medisave claimable for girls and women aged 9-26 years and is recommended by the Ministry of Health. It was added to the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) in November 2010.
This recent article in the Straits Times highlight the 2 main types of HPV vaccines that we have - Gardasil and Cervarix; and potentially more in the future!
If you are 27 or older, you should discuss the benefits of vaccination with your GP.
Dr Sarah Packer is a Family Physician with a special interest in women's and children's health.