10 proactive steps to keep you and your family free from dengue fever

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·Lifestyle Editor
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Mother applying mosquito and bugs repellent spray on toddler. PHOTO: Getty Images
Mother applying mosquito and bugs repellent spray on toddler. PHOTO: Getty Images

As we keep close tabs on the COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine war developments, we may have sidelined the other life-threatening transmission going around – dengue fever. Weekly reported dengue cases are rising sharply, with 264 cases recorded in the week ending 5 March 2022 – 65 cases more than in the previous week. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA) as of 13 July, dengue cases hit an all-time high of 17,249, way exceeding the number of dengue cases in the whole of 2019. Also, dengue cases this year is expected to exceed Singapore’s record high of dengue outbreak in 2013 at 22,170.

What a year, right?

As we adjust to the new normal, many are still opting to play it safe by engaging in more outdoor activities and staying at home. With 410 active dengue clusters in Singapore (as of 20 July 2020) where intensive dengue transmission is ongoing, it pays to be vigilant when it comes to you and your family’s health and safety. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

Here are 10 tips for you and your loved ones to stay safe at home and outdoors.

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1. Stay informed

Get up-to-date information from the NEA website, Stop Dengue Now Facebook page and myENV app. Check the NEA website regularly for any dengue clusters in your estate.

Take note of NEA's anti-dengue checklist below.

Mozzie Wipeout ‘B-L-O-C-K’

Break up hardened soil

Lift and empty flowerpot plates

Overturn pails and wipe their rims

Change water in vases

Keep roof gutters clear and place BTI insecticide

2. Get outdoors with the right protection

Love nature? The most common way to protect against mozzies is using insect repellents. However, many are confused about its application. Insect repellants should be the final layer you apply on your skin – after your body lotion and sunscreen. For those who are averse to the strong smell of over-the-counter insect repellants, try

All Terrain, Herbal Armor, Insect Repellant DEET-Free Pump Spray, 60ml, S$6.17

All Terrain, Herbal Armor, Insect Repellant DEET-Free Pump Spray, 60ml. PHOTO: iHerb
All Terrain, Herbal Armor, Insect Repellant DEET-Free Pump Spray, 60ml. PHOTO: iHerb

For children, try this DEET-free, GMO-free and skin-friendly Kids Herbal Armor, 60ml, S$6.17.

DEET-free, GMO-free and skin-friendly Kids Herbal Armor, 60ml. PHOTO: iHerb
DEET-free, GMO-free and skin-friendly Kids Herbal Armor, 60ml. PHOTO: iHerb

Here’s another unscented kid-friendly spray to consider.

3. Make a fashion statement

Get a set and make it a family affair! Wear these anti-mosquito aromatherapy diffuser bracelets or the deet-free and waterproof anti-mosquito bands wherever you and your family go.

Mosquito Bracelet for adults & kids, S$58.67

Mosquito Bracelet for adults & kids. PHOTO: Amazon
Mosquito Bracelet for adults & kids. PHOTO: Amazon

4. It pays to be a kiasu parent

Apart from dressing your child in attire that covers the arms and legs, ensures the little ones’ strollers and carriers has mosquito netting.

Stroller Rain Cover and Baby Stroller Mosquito Net, 2pc set, S$31.64

Stroller Rain Cover and Baby Stroller Mosquito Net, 2pc set. PHOTO: Amazon
Stroller Rain Cover and Baby Stroller Mosquito Net, 2pc set. PHOTO: Amazon

For those who love the outdoors, consider treating your clothes and gear like boots, pants, socks and tents with Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Gear & Tents.

5. Tend to your garden with no worries

Do a thorough check around the house for stagnant pools of water. Pay extra attention to flower pots, pails, air-conditioning trays and clogged drains. Starting 15 July 2020, the fines for households found with mosquito breeding grounds can go up to S$5,000. Be sure to use these mosquito dunks and mosquito granules to rid mozzies once and for all.

6. Chase the bugs away with essential oils

If you are an advocate for all things natural, try using Lemon Eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint essential oils that are known to keep away pests and bugs. You can even make your own anti-mozzie spray. Here’s how. In an opaque spray bottle, add a half cup water and 20 drops of the lemongrass or peppermint oil. Mix and spritz over any exposed skin. The solution is effective when sprayed on clothes as well as on windowsills.

Lemongrass essential oil, 118ml, S$18.69

Lemongrass essential oil, 118ml, S$19.13. PHOTO: iHerb
Lemongrass essential oil, 118ml, S$19.13. PHOTO: iHerb

Peppermint essential oil, 118ml, S$20.46

Peppermint essential oil, 118ml, S$24.76. PHOTO: iHerb
Peppermint essential oil, 118ml, S$24.76. PHOTO: iHerb

7. Out mozzies out

Fix up magnetic fly screens to your windows and doors. Remember to check periodically to see if any holes require maintenance. You can fix holes with patches as well.

8. Sleep with ease

Keep out mozzies with this luxury mosquito canopy or the premium mosquito net for beds of all sizes. Have a newborn? Why not get the crib mosquito net to have a peace of mind?

9. Outdoors/Balconies

Have a garden or balcony where you love spending time at? Try lighting these citronella candles or the reliable Portable Mosquito Coil Holder to keep the mozzies away.

Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks, Deet-free, Plant-Based Essential Oils, 12s, S$37.07

Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks, Deet-free, Plant-Based Essential Oils. PHOTO: Amazon
Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks, Deet-free, Plant-Based Essential Oils. PHOTO: Amazon

10. Portable mosquito murderer

Never has the word “murderer” sounded sweeter. Whether you are catching up on your beauty sleep or having a drama marathon at home, these household anti-mosquito lamps should be the latest add-ons to your living room, study room and bedrooms. Best of all, they not only kill mosquitoes but other pests at the same time.

Indoor Mosquito Killing Lamp, S$67.98

Indoor Mosquito Killing Lamp, S$66.27. PHOTO: Amazon
Indoor Mosquito Killing Lamp, S$66.27. PHOTO: Amazon

Mosquito Killer Lamp with USB, Child Safe

Mosquito Killer Lamp with USB, Child Safe. PHOTO: Amazon

Dengue can be deadly. Take the necessary precautions today.

The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek advice from a qualified healthcare provider on queries regarding a medical condition. Any action taken by you in reliance on or in connection with this content is solely at your own risk.

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