Dengue fever on Koh Phangan prevention and treatment

22 Sep 2020

Dengue fever is given and transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Many of you may have had it already and most of us know someone who has suffered.

Symptoms of Dengue fever to be aware of are fever, severe headache, aching body, joint pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, and skin rashes.

Currently and sadly, there is not a treatment for dengue fever but it is essential to consume an adequate intake of fluid and just to rest in bed. Most people recover within two weeks. 

Dengue fever, however, can become serious, resulting in dengue hemorrhagic syndrome and dengue shock syndrome. 

As we know, prevention of something is always better than the cure, so how can you protect you, your family, and friends from dengue fever?

Protect yourself from all mosquito bites 

You can prevent mosquito breeding indoors and outdoors by not having pools of stagnant and still water around. 

Avoid visiting mosquito-prone areas 

Use mosquito repellent, ideally one which contains DEET. 
Apply to exposed skin and/or clothing, and use enough to cover the whole area. Do not apply it to clothes, cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. 

Use natural repellent if not wanting to use DEET.

Cover your arms and legs by wearing long-sleeves and long trousers. 

While sleeping, use mosquito nets. 

Other extra things you can do to not get bitten.

Hang out in a breezy area
Anything above 1 MPH makes it difficult for mosquitoes to fly. So if you want to prevent mosquito bites you can try to pick a breezy spot to relax in. 
Electric fans can have the same effect as the natural wind. Just keep the airflow directed at the lower half of your body as mosquitoes usually fly close to the ground to prevent wind, so their approach will be blocked by directing the force of the fan downward. 

Avoid peak mozzie times
Mosquitoes like to come out and eat at certain times of the day, often around dusk and dawn for these critters. That is because the wind is low, so they can get around more easily. As much as you love to watch the sunset or go for a run at sunrise, you might want to avoid these certain times if you don’t want to get bitten.

Try to stay cool
This is not always easy, particularly in climates like Thailand but mosquitoes are attracted by pheromones released in sweat.

Consider adding mosquito-repelling plants to your property
This should not be your only prevention for mosquito-fighting, but certain plants may help prevent mosquitoes from hovering near your house. Those include things such as citronella, lavender, marigolds, lemongrass, and basil.

What to do if you think you have got dengue fever
Dengue fever symptoms can vary widely from minor to severe but if after 24 hours you still have a fever and your symptoms get worse then this is when you need to seek assistance. Visit a clinic, hospital, or doctor to assess your symptoms, and test your blood for the virus.

We hear about people at home riding out their symptoms, but we wouldn't recommend this. But if you do choose to stay home then make sure you have someone with you who can keep an eye on you and your health condition for any changes. You can choose to stay in a hospital if you are tested positive for dengue. They will keep you on a drip and monitor you.

Stay hydrated! Dengue can cause vomiting and diarrhea, meaning dehydration, so you can constantly sip on water. 

Many people herald papaya leaves and leaf juice as an aid to get rid of dengue. We're not going to stop you trying this, but there's no scientific evidence that it's working.

As already stated, there is not a cure for dengue yet so that's why it's especially important and valuable to keep an eye on your symptoms or, more importantly, take steps to prevent the dengue virus from catching them. 

Symptoms may take up to two weeks to show and may last from three to ten days and may get more severe, hopefully by this time you will have sought medical care. 

​The maximum risk is on the third or seventh day of symptoms, and usually dengue mosquitoes occur from August to October and can not survive at lower temperatures.