Recognizing the Mosquito
Aedes Aegypti can be recognized by its distinctive striped markings, located on the legs. Also, the mosquito raises its back two legs when landing or standing.
Classic Dengue Symptoms
The following symptoms will last 3 to 7 days and will generally appear 5 to 7 days after the bite.
- High Fever
- Intense muscle and joint pain
- Headaches, pain in the bones and behind the eyes
- Sometimes body rashes and itching occur
- Light bleeding in the nose or gums.
Hemorrhagic Dengue Symptoms
- High Fever (over 39° Celsius 102.2 °F) lasting 2 to 7 days
- Severe hemorrhaging
- Difficulty breathing
- Strong abdominal pain
- Frequent vomiting or diarrhea
- Low blood pressure
- Paleness, sweating and exhaustion
What to Do if you Have Symptoms
- See a doctor
- Watch for severe symptoms
- Don’t self medicate or use aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication. This can provoke bleeding.
- Don’t use antibiotics, dengue is caused by a virus not by bacteria
- Drink liquids to stay hydrated
Prevention of Dengue
- Inspect your house at least once a week for breeding areas.
- Drain water from plant holders.
- Bury or shred vegetation that can hold water, bamboo and cocunut shells are common in Costa Rica.
- Fill holes in trees with sand
- Leave empty containers face down: plant holders, bottles, buckets, etc.
- Change water in vases every week. This will prevent any larvae from becoming adults.
- Throw away old tires, or better yet recycle them. If you must store tires keep them under a roof and make sure no standing water is in them.
- Clean animal dishes once a week.
- The water tray under the air conditioner and refrigerator should be cleaned once a week.
- Water tanks or containers should be well sealed.
- Trash should not be accumulated. Perforate any cans or bottles that could accumulate water before throwing them away.
- Pools should be treated with chlorine.
- Rain gutters should be cleaned so water flows freely.
- Roof tops should not collect water.
- If you have broken glass on your wall for security, fill the bottom with sand so water can’t accumulate there.