Friday, October 28, 2011

Jom Ganyang Aedes!

Ayra used to get so many mosquito bites on her arms and legs a while back. She didn't get those mosquito bites at home tho; it usually happened when we went to the parks or anyone's house that's surrounded with lots of trees and bushes. I'm not talking about 2-3 mosquito bites; I'm talking 12-13 bites at a time (yes, I actually counted them)!

I wish I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Those damn mosquitoes were having feasts on my little girl! GRRR.

Some of the mosquito bites on her leg
(picture was taken a few months ago)

My poor girl. It was heart-wrenching and very upsetting seeing her scratching her arms and legs vigorously (sometimes she even cried because of the itchiness), which then turned into nasty scars. People probably thought she was being abused! Sometimes sampai muka dan telinga pun kena. Kesian sangat!

It wasn't just the scratching and scarring that worried me, but I feared dengue as well. I remembered my mom pernah pesan dulu, do not take dengue fever lightly because it's deadly! But Alhamdulillah, those mosquitoes that bit Ayra were normal mosquitoes - not the deadly ones. But that doesn't mean I can just ignore them. In fact, we must all be aware of this issue, whether or not you have kids because dengue affects not only babies and children, but also adults.

Last year alone, the dengue death cases in Malaysia had doubled over the past 10 years. It's scary! Who would've thought such a tiny creature can actually "kill" you? Nauzubillah.

Image googled

Dengue virus is transmitted to humans through Aedes mosquito bites. The virus is not contagious tho and it can't be spread directly from person to person. It's a person-to-Aedes mosquito-to-another person pathway. Some of the symptoms of dengue include high-grade fever, severe headache, severe joint and muscle pain, pain when moving the eyes, skin rash and bleeding from the nose, gums and under the skin. If your child especially, is down with a fever and hasn't recovered after 2-3 days, terus bawa pergi jumpa doctor please. Sometimes we tend to take things lightly and think that it's just a normal fever, lepas makan ubat nanti baik la, bla bla bla... But what if it's not? What if it's something serious? Menyesal tak sudah nanti (this is a reminder to myself too). It's better to be safe than sorry.

There are precautions that we can take to prevent mosquito bites, as well as their breeding grounds, such as:

1) Using mosquito repellent. There are mosquito repellents for babies as well so use that for them. I've been making it a routine to apply this on my children especially when we're going out and now Ayra doesn't get mosquito bites as many as she did previously. Pay extra attention to ears, necks and ankles as well.

2) Store water in containers with lids. Do not store water in open containers because Aedes mosquitoes breed in clean water. In fact, always empty stagnant water from pails, trash cans, flower pots and old tires because those could serve as mosquito breeding sites.

3) Use mosquito nets at home, especially for your baby.

4) Limit exposure to mosquitoes by staying indoors 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset. I always make sure that I close all windows by 6pm because Aedes mosquitoes are daytime biter and they usually "attack" around sunrise and sunset.

When it comes to preventing dengue, it's everyone's responsibility and preventative measure must start from home. To make it worse, there is currently no vaccine for dengue so the best thing we can do is to prevent it. Prevention is (always) better than cure. There's no doubt about that!

You can find out more about dengue at


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |