By now, you would have read & heard much of the annual Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) epidemy resurfacing again, and this time, they are back for more blood! Apparently, there really isn’t a proven cure for the several strains of it.
What really is DHF? Well, in simple terms, it’s a virus that attacks the platelets, so blood is unable to clot should you sustain laceration. Severe fever comes & goes like the flick of a switch, and aching goes bone deep, because your marrows are going into overdrive. Should your body be weak and is unable to replenish the fast vanishing platelets, there’s a good chance that you’ll suffer from internal hemorrhage, and speeds up the process of meeting the maker sooner than expected.
Having survived DHF twice (approximately 10yrs apart), my 2nd encounter was near death! The medical staff had to give me 5pints of pure platelets in order to turn the tables around. Each recurrent encounter packs a harder punch than the previous. Or shall I say part of it comes with age, because cell regeneration declines as time flips the calendar.
The health agencies & authorities are drumming up awareness campaigns to educate the public on individual diligence to rid stagnant water bodies in the homes. Well, if we recall, the campaign hasn’t changed much since nearly 2 decades ago. I highly doubt it that the populace is the cause for the rise of DHF cases year to date.
So, where really is the problem? Why do the mozzies come back stronger & cover greater distances?
Based on personal observation, infrastructure is 1 of the greatest culprits and it is the incompetence in the planning that attributes to the mozzies flourishing.
This island is in the tropics and so torrential rains visit the island on a regular basis (almost daily during the monsoon seasons). The drainage system is nothing to boast about, and while the temperature evaporates exposed water bodies relatively quickly, people forget that the stagnated water bodies are actually underground.
Not to mention that the authorities spend much effort landscaping the island with flora & plantings to reduce atmospheric temperature, the choice of some palms may be aesthetic, but impractical because water is trapped in the crevices of the fronds, making them ideal breading grounds for the mozzies.
For the longest time, the environment & pest control agencies have appeared diligent, and been fumigating & fogging precincts regularly, but in truth, its called throwing smoke in the wind! The 20yr result for DHF cases increasing is evident that the fumigation efforts haven’t really fulfilled satisfactory results.
By throwing intoxicated smoke in open environments, the effect of the fumes is quickly dissolved & disintegrated in the breeze. The fumes not only fail to cause critical damage to the vermin cluster, but it forces them to disperse & migrate out of the area! Therefore, this is why they are able to multiply & cover nearly the entire island.
Densely populated areas tend to ring in the higher number of reported cases, while the lack of reported cases in some regions; are not representative that the vermin clusters do not exist.
As it stands, there is no overnight solution to making the mozzies disappear, but more effort is required to consider mixed mediums of pesticides implemented; to ensure that potential breeding grounds are laced thorough to cause impotency. As long as they fail to reproduce, or the larvae do not survive, they will eventually die out in due time.