Last update: 2023-06-23
Transmission: vector-borne (mosquito)
- Mosquito bite (mostly spread by daytime biting mosquitoes)
- Other transmission modes exist but these rarely cause epidemics (for example during blood transfusion or vertical mother-child transmission)
Most vulnerable to severe consequences
Most vulnerable to contracting the disease
- People living or working near mosquito-breeding sites (stagnant water)
- Headache and/or pain behind the eyes (sometimes)
- Muscle and joint pain (sometimes)
- Nausea and vomiting (sometimes)
- Swollen glands (sometimes)
- Rash (sometimes)
Symptoms of severe dengue
- Abdominal pain (especially an ache in the right side)
- Fast breathing
- Bleeding (especially in the mouth or nose, or blood found in vomit or stool)
- Extreme tiredness
What can you do to prevent and control an epidemic?
Vector control and prevention
- Initiate elimination of mosquitos and breeding sites
- Remove standing water and apply larvicides
- Promote community clean-up campaigns to remove rubbish and cover water containers
- Prevent mosquito bites by advocating the use of:
- Insecticide-treated curtains or screens on windows and doors
- Personal protection (application of repellents, wearing long sleeved clothes)
- Insecticide-treated bed nets for children and others who sleep during the day
- Monitoring the community and identifying sick people
Treatment and management
- Rapidly refer severe cases to health facilities
- Refer all pregnant women with suspected infection to health facilities
- Provide psychosocial support to the sick person and their family members
Social mobilization and health promotion
- Find out the specific advice being given by health and other relevant authorities
- Model following this advice and inform community members of current health practice advice
- Offer support and encouragement to follow the advice
- Try to gain understanding about if and why health practice advice is not being followed
- With the guidance of your supervisor and health authorities, work with communities to overcome barriers to following health advice and recommended practices
Mapping and community assessment
- Make a map of the community.
- Mark the following information on the map:
- How many people have fallen sick with dengue? Where?
- How many people have died? Where? When?
- Who and where are the vulnerable people?
- Where are the local health facilities and services? (include traditional healers)
- Record the following information on the back of the map:
- When did people start to fall sick with dengue?
- How many people have become severely ill (see symptoms of severe dengue)? Where?
- How many people live in the affected community? How many are children under five years?
- Do people generally cover their water containers (inside and outside)? Who is responsible for the maintenance of containers for household drinking water and for vessels to do laundry; is it women or men?
- How does the community usually remove standing, stagnant water?
- How common is it for people to live in houses with insect screens on windows and doors?
- How common is it for people who sleep during the daytime (for example babies and children) to sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets?
- Are nets hung up and maintained properly?
- If people are not using nets, why not?
- Are children badly affected by dengue? Are there other groups (specific ages, occupations, geographic areas, etc.) that are badly affected?
- What are the community’s habits, practices and beliefs regarding use of repellents, sprays, etc?
- Have the authorities established a vector control programme?
- Is a social mobilization or health promotion programme in place?
- Which sources do people use/trust the most for information?
- Are there rumours or misinformation about dengue? What are the rumours?
- Who spends more time in the household during the day (and is more exposed to the mosquito bite)? Women, or men, or both?
Zika, dengue and chikungunya toolkit: Zika, dengue and chikungunya toolkit | IFRC