How can dengue fever be prevented?
The transmission of the virus to mosquitoes must be interrupted to prevent the illness. To this end, patients are kept under mosquito netting until the second bout of fever is over and they are no longer able to transmit the virus to a biting mosquito.
The prevention of dengue requires control or eradication of the mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes dengue. In nations plagued by dengue fever, people are urged to empty stagnant water from old tires, trash cans, and flower pots. Governmental initiatives to decrease mosquitoes also help to keep the disease in check but have been poorly effective.
To prevent mosquito bites, wear long pants and long sleeves. For personal protection, use mosquito repellant sprays that contain DEET when visiting places where dengue is endemic. There are no specific risk factors for contracting dengue fever, except living in or traveling to an area where the mosquitoes and virus are endemic. Limiting exposure to mosquitoes by avoiding standing water and staying indoors for two hours after sunrise and before sunset will help, as the Aedes aegyptimosquito is a daytime biter with peak periods of biting around sunrise and sunset. It may bite at any time of the day and is often hidden inside homes or other dwellings, especially in urban areas.
There is currently no vaccination available for dengue fever. There is a vaccine undergoingclinical trials, but it is too early to tell if it will be safe or effective. Early results of clinical trials show that a vaccine may be available by 2015.
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