The rainy season is definitely a refreshing respite after the blistering summer. However, it also comes with several illnesses and diseases and the most dreaded of all is dengue. Dengue is caused by a tiny bite of an infected mosquito but this little bite can cause serious health problems and could even mean death if not treated immediately.
“Due to the wet season, dengue-carrying mosquitoes lurk everywhere. As of now, there’s still no vaccine for dengue fever so the best course of action is prevention. You can do this by applying mosquito repellent, removing breeding grounds of mosquitoes and most importantly, keeping the immune system strong,” says Dr. Montoya, MediCard president and CEO.
To avoid serious health complications that dengue brings, MediCard, a leading HMO provider, gives a rundown on how to prevent it this rainy season:
Eliminate the mosquito habitat. Studies show that the most common breeding ground of mosquitoes is stagnant water. That’s why the most important step in getting rid of dengue-carrying mosquitoes is eliminating possible breeding grounds. These include spare tires, uncovered buckets and cans, flower vases and pots. It is also advised to empty and cover swimming pools.
Mosquito-proof your home. Another way to prevent dengue is by making your home dengue-proof by putting screens on the doors and windows. If possible, use an air conditioner at home. Make sure you sleep indoors, in a screened or air-conditioned room or under a mosquito net. Ward off mosquitoes by growing plants like citronella, marigold, and basil or use citronella or eucalyptus oil as air freshener. If you’re using pails in the bathroom, make sure they are always covered. Also remember to unclog the gutters and
cover your trashcan because wet garbage or kitchen waste is another breeding area for mosquitoes.
Wear protective clothing. You can protect yourself from harmful mosquito bites by minimizing areas of exposed skin. Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks whenever you visit mosquito-infested places. However, avoid wearing dark clothes because they radiate heat which can attract mosquitoes.
Apply mosquito repellent. Protect yourself from mosquito bites especially when outdoors or when you go to mosquito-infested areas by applying mosquito repellent to all exposed areas of your skin. Dr. Montoya recommends that you use mosquito repellent with 10% concentration of DEET, an active ingredient that effectively deters mosquitoes.
Keep the immune system strong. The immune system fights viruses and infections, which is why it’s important to keep it strong to prevent dengue. Eat food rich in vitamin C like orange, tomatoes, papaya, broccoli, and dark leafy vegetables. “Food that is packed with vitamin C helps increase white blood cells, which protects the body from against infectious diseases and foreign invaders,” says Dr. Montoya.
Learn more on how to prevent dengue fever. MediCard has numerous free-standing clinics located in key cities nationwide that offer consultations, tests and vaccinations. Visit a MediCard clinic near you or check out www.medicardphils.com for more information.
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