Dengue, often referred to as break-bone fever, poses a considerable risk. The world has witnessed its spread as an epidemic, affecting millions globally. Amid this global health concern, some myths surrounding dengue are leading to misinformation and misguided treatment approaches. This article is going to debunk 10 myths about dengue. Let’s clear up these misconceptions about this formidable mosquito-borne disease for effective prevention.
10 Misconceptions about Dengue
Dengue is Contagious
Dengue primarily spreads through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It is not a contagious disease. It is not transmitted through person to person contacts.
While dengue is not typically transmitted from person to person, there are exceptional circumstances to consider. For instance, an infected pregnant mother can pass the virus to her developing fetus. Additionally, transmission via blood products, organ donation, and transfusions, while extremely rare, is not entirely impossible.
Dengue Prevails in Rural or Developing Areas
This myth does not hold when examining the global reach of this infectious disease.
Dengue is not limited to any specific geographical or economic boundaries. Dengue can occur in any country where the Aedes mosquito species are present. This includes tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, encompassing both urban and semi-urban areas.
Children and Elderly Are Susceptible to Dengue
It's crucial to clarify that dengue can affect individuals of all ages, regardless of their age, gender, or socioeconomic status.
Dengue virus does not discriminate based on age. People of all age groups are susceptible to dengue infection, and this includes infants, children, teenagers, and adults. It's true that certain risk categories, such as children and the elderly, are more vulnerable due to their potentially weakened immune systems. However, even healthy individuals can contract dengue or develop severe symptoms.
Any Mosquito Can Carry Dengue Virus
In reality, dengue can only be transmitted through the bite of a female mosquito belonging to the Aedes Aegypti or the Aedes Albopictus species. This certain species is distinguished by its characteristic white markings on the legs. The transmission occurs when it bites an infected individual and subsequently bites a healthy and non-infected person. After an incubation period of about a week, the same mosquito can transmit the disease to another individual. It makes these particular mosquito species the primary vectors for dengue transmission.
Dengue Mosquitoes Only Bite During the Day
While it is true that dengue-spreading mosquitoes are more active during the daytime, their feeding habits can extend into nighttime hours. These mosquitoes are typically most active around two hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset. However, they have been observed biting people at night, particularly in well-lit areas.
One of the risk factors for nighttime exposure to dengue mosquitoes is the presence of artificial lighting. These mosquitoes can be drawn to indoor environments, including offices, malls, indoor auditoriums, and stadiums that use artificial lights throughout the day and night.