If you were to ask what would be the deadliest animal on the planet, would the answer of mosquitoes surprise you? As surprising as it sounds, the deadliest animal in the world isn’t a shark or tiger or snake, it’s the tiny pest flying around your home, the mosquito. In Malaysia, mosquitoes are an everyday occurence and most of the time we don’t pay too much attention other than the occasional complaint. We have become used to these insects. However, the threat of mosquitoes is becoming more and more dangerous, especially in the past few months because of dengue!
Dengue is on the rise in Malaysia and this should frighten you! In 2019 alone, the number of dengue cases rose to 38,000 in just the first quarter of the year! That’s three times the amount from last year! In fact, as of August 3rd 2019, there has already been almost 80,000 cases recorded in Malaysia with over 113 deaths and is still on the rise! In conjunction with World Mosquito Day, let’s find out a little more about dengue!
When Malaysian’s hear about dengue cases around their neighbourhood, the first option they go to is fogging. While fogging is a very effective solution in eliminating adult mosquitoes, it is definitely not enough to protect yourself and your family from getting dengue! This is because fogging only kills adult mosquitoes but doesn’t do anything about eggs, larvae or pupae. Imagine, if you were to conduct fogging today to kill mosquitoes, this would do nothing to kill pupae or larvae. In a matter of days, these larvae and pupae will hatch and you’ve got another infestation on your hands. To protect yourself from dengue holistically, an integrated mosquito management approach that tackles each and every life cycle of the mosquito would be the most effective!
We always hear about the typical breeding spots of mosquitoes: flower pots, old tyres, drains etc. But have you realized that these areas are all outside your home? What about the inside? Is there a magical barrier that somehow prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs once they are inside our homes? The answer is obviously no!
The reality is, there are plenty of areas that are suitable for mosquitoes to breed in your home! Indoor water plants, open stagnant water such as pails in your bathroom or even your water tank are great places for mosquitoes. Sometimes even a simple thing such as a cup full of water left on the table for days could be the perfect breeding spot. Removing these potential breeding spots can easily reduce the chance of getting dengue. What’s more, keep your windows and doors closed especially during the early morning and evening as that’s when mosquitoes are most active.
You read right! There are actually four different types of dengue, categorised into DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. That’s something the doctors don’t tell you. What’s important to know is under each type of dengue, there are even more strains! The most dangerous of the 4 tend to be DEN-2 and DEN-3, as they are the most commonly associated with dengue haemorrhagic fever, the type of dengue that is lethal.
If you’ve had dengue before there is some good news. Once you get a certain type of dengue, you’ll be immune for the rest of your life and you are also temporarily and partially protected from the other types of dengue. However there is some bad news too. If you happen to get dengue a second time, you're more likely to develop dengue haemorrhagic fever, the kind of dengue that kills. To sum it up, it’s harder to get dengue once you’ve gotten it before but if you do get infected again it’s more likely to be deadly.
Unfortunately, while Malaysians are well educated on dengue, we only take action once we hear news of dengue cases in our neighbourhood. The prevention of dengue needs to be done proactively and is the responsibility of every single Malaysian. Dengue cases will skyrocket if nothing is done! Even if your home is mosquito free, your neighbours could have plenty of mosquito breeding spots. Hence it’s up to everyone to help reduce dengue cases in Malaysia. As hard as that sounds, Rentokil is here to help. We have customised solutions to eliminate mosquitoes at every stage of the life cycle. From adult mosquitoes to larva, we got it covered. Learn more about how we can help protect your family from dengue by calling 1300881911 or by visiting our website.