The Navy is helping spread the word about stopping the spread of dengue fever. The disease is caused by an infection of the dengue virus. Symptoms include high fever, headaches, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and rash.
The virus responsible for dengue fever is contracted from the bite of a female yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) or Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Though uncommon, dengue fever can result in death.
In June, Lt. Ryan Larson was on Wake Up 2day and brought traps – including one that smells like old socks to attract mosquitoes. He told us about a surveillance project that was planned to get underway.
Navy Entomologist Lt. j.g. Liza Gerardo of Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Six (NEPMU-6) updates, “Our surveillance program is up and running. We trap mosquitoes to help us with our surveys. We use light and odor traps. It is important to understand what mosquito species are in Hawaii and where they are established.”
Lt. Gerardo sums up her prevention tips as the Four Ds:
. Drain: Empty bird baths, vases, potted plants, and flower dishes. Change the water and clean pet bowls daily. Clean blocked drains and roof gutters.
. Discard: Throw away disposable containers holding water, like cans or bottles, and arrange for proper removal of unused tires.
. Deny: Deny mosquitoes entry into your home by making sure window screens are on all windows, and are not damaged. Keep screen doors closed and free of holes. Deny mosquitoes their habitat near your home by keeping grass short and hedges well groomed.
. DEET: Apply DEET or other insect repellents when outside, especially in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how often to reapply to make sure you and your family are protected. Also, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to further reduce the risk of being bitten.