Friday, June 17, 2011

Fighting Dengue


Hello to all readers. May all of you have a nice day today :D

One must know that Dengue is a serious disease that can kill anyone regardless of your age or gender. Dengue is prominent mostly in Tropical countries. Malaysia had 21,309 Dengue cases June last year and 134 deaths was reported in year 2010. 

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults.
Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. It is important to maintain hydration. Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.

Enough talking about a quick view of Dengue. We are now one step ahead to fight Dengue. There are new things like new Dengue test Kit, Genetically Modified Aedes mosquitoes and new Vaccine to fight with Dengue. Unfortunately, the vaccine is still being developed and will only available by 2015.

Now we have NS 1 kit test for Dengue Fever. It can detect dengue even from day 1 of fever

Interpretation of the result on this NS 1 Test Kit. It takes 15-20 minutes only

The Genetically Modified (GM) Aedes mosquitoes were released in a study running from Dec 2010 to Jan 5, 2011. 
"The GM mosquitoes are a completely different organism from the Toxorhynchites mosquitoes which are found in the wild, in jungle", said Dr Jayakumar a State Health, Plantation Workers, Poverty and Caring government executive councillor. 
"We are just bringing them out into areas where the mosquitoes are breeding", he said.
"The idea is that the larvae of these mosquitoes will eat the other mosquito larvae", he added, saying that the mosquitoes which had a life cycle of two months were indigenous in Malaysia.

Toxorhynchites mosquitoes were released in an abandoned construction area as such areas were found to have the highest concentration of Aedes mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, Prof Zairi Jaal of the USM Vector Control Research Unit said that it was unlikely that the 
Toxorhynchites mosquitoes would be found in homes as they preferred forested area.

But, wait....wait...wait. Hey, we are trying :)

Genetically Modified (GM) Mosquitoes
What are they?
Modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The same species as the mosquito that spread the virus that causes Dengue fever.
What is the aim of releasing GM Aedes mosquitoes?
To mate with female Aedes mosquitoes. The offspring of such matings will have shorter live span.
Have they been released?
Yes. 6,000 were released on Dec 21 last year by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) of Malaysia in an uninhabited area of Pahang. The experiment was concluded on Jan 5, 2011. It was the first of its kind in Asia.
What are they?
A genus of mosquitoes that do not feed on blood. Instead, adult Toxorhynchites feed on plant carbohydrates such as saps and juices from damaged plants and nectar.
What is the aim of releasing them?
The larvae of  Toxorhynchites feed on aquatic life such as the larvae of other mosquitoes. Toxorhynchites are not involved in the transmission of human or animal pathogens. 
Have they been released before in Malaysia?
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council was the first to release them on June 7, 2011 in collaboration with CIMB Bank and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
The mosquitoes had been used before in an anti-Aedes project running in New Orleans in the United States, Bangkok, Penang, and St Maarteen in the Carribbean from 1978 yo 1986 with a success rate between 45% to 100%.
How can  Toxorhynchites be distinguished?
They are blue, metallic green or black and are four or five times bigger than normal mosquitoes. Their larvae are 1.2cm to 1.8cm long.

Source: TheSun Newspaper (June 8, 2011) 
TheStar newspaper today reported that Dengue death down by 80% this year.
KUALA LUMPUR: The number of dengue-related cases and deaths fell by 57% and 80% respectively this year compared to the same period last year.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said as of June 12, the number of reported cases stood at 9,224 compared to last year's figure of 21,309 during the same period.
The number of deaths has also dropped by 80% to 14 compared to 69 in the previous year.
A total of 46,171 dengue cases and 134 deaths were recorded last year.
Liow attributed the reduction to the strong community support towards the Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi) campaign against dengue.
There are currently 2,126 Combi projects, of which 205 were by non-governmental organisations.
“Preventing dengue is a joint responsibility".
“Our focus is to mobilise the community and help them realise that their role in reducing the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes is the key,” he said at the local-level Asean Dengue Day function and relaunch of the national-level Combi campaign yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said efforts to combat the epidemic must continue on a daily basis as the number of cases and deaths could happen at any time.
“Our target is to have zero deaths as one death is too many,” he said.
On the dengue vaccine which is being developed by the Health Ministry and pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, Liow said it would be available by 2015.
Source: TheStar Newspaper (June17, 2011) 

Don't ever stop fighting with the Dengue!
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