Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health Dr Charles Mwansambo disclosed the development in Lilongwe during presentation of 200 test kits used in detecting the presence of a mosquito virus that causes Dengue Fever in the human body by Pharmacare Pharmacies.
Dengue Fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults and is characterized by a high fever which can be accompanied by symptoms like severe headache pain behind the eyes and muscle and joint pains.
Earlier, health authorities reported the outbreak of the disease in Tanzania, especially in Dar es Salaam, a popular destination for shopping to thousands of business people from across the country.
According to an earlier statement from the ministry of health, by 2nd June 2014, in the districts Kinondoni, Temeke, and Ilala that are in Dar es Salaam, a total of 1,089 cases were confirmed with four deaths.
The health authorities then advised people traveling to Dar es Salaam to exercise great caution and practice appropriate prevention measures.
Chairperson for Pharmacare Board of Directors, Sandy Charumira, said the donation follows media reports of the disease’s outbreak in the neighbouring countries.
Appreciating the donation, Dr Mwansambo said Malawi is potentially at risk of being affected by the dengue fever outbreak due to the proximity of the neighbouring countries hence they have put in place measures to either prevent or control.
World Health Organisation (WHO) reports trace detection of the virus in the affected neigbouring countries to January this year.
Pharmacare Pharmacies is an agent of SD (Standard Diagnostic) Bioline, a South Korean based manufacturer of various test kits including HIV and Malaria test kits.
About Dengue Fever
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary transmitter of dengue.
The Dengue virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
After virus incubation for 4–10 days, an infected mosquito is capable of transmitting the virus for the rest of its life.
Infected humans are the main carriers and multipliers of the virus, serving as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes.
Patients who are already infected with the dengue virus can transmit the infection (for 4–5 days; maximum 12) via Aedes mosquitoes after their first symptoms appear.
Dengue should be suspected when a high fever is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash.
Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days, after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito.
As of now, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever and all people travelling to these are areas are requested to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by sleeping under mosquito nets.
Meanwhile, health authorities say all the health workers and Port Health Officers have been put on alert with increased surveillance of potential cases.
Based on the current information available for this outbreak, WHO, does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to the United Republic of Tanzania, both mainland and Zanzibar.