Dengue and Zika. The mere mention of both diseases send a shiver down our spines.
Transmitted via the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes, Dengue and Zika are tropical diseases caused by viruses that live in the blood.
But which disease causes more harm to human lives? Read on to find out.
What is Dengue?
Dengue is a serious illness caused by any of four closely related viruses, or serotypes: Dengue 1-4. The good news is that infection with one serotype gives you life-long immunity to that serotype. The bad news, however, is that it does not protect you against the other strains.
Subsequent infection of a different serotype could put you or your loved ones at a greater risk for Dengue Haemorraghic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Both conditions can be fatal if untreated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 to 100 million infections occur yearly. Tragically, these lead to 500,000 DHF cases and 22,000 deaths, mostly among children.
So how do you know if you’ve contracted Dengue? Depending on the severity of your illness, symptoms of Dengue include the following:
- High fever
- Muscle or joint pain
- Nose/gum bleeding
[Learn more about Dengue by viewing our Dengue infographic.]
What is Zika?
Zika was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. It was later found in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Zika outbreaks have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Similar to Dengue, Zika causes patients to feel badly ill. However, its symptoms are usually milder than Dengue.
Most people fully recover without severe complications, while few require hospitalisation. However, it can lead to microcephaly, and brain abnormalities, in babies born to infected mothers.
Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition which can cause at least temporary paralysis, or in the worst case scenario, affect breathing and claim lives.
The scary part about the virus is that about 80 per cent of those infected show no symptoms. That also means that these asymptomatic individuals can silently spread the virus within the community when they infect mosquitoes that bite them. Zika can also be transmitted from person to person through sex.
Which is Worse – Dengue or Zika?
So back to the original question posed in the title of this article – which is worse? Well it depends on for whom.
If you’re talking about pregnant women, the risk of abnormalities developing in a Zika-infected foetus is a significant one. But for the general population, Dengue carries a greater risk of complications and death, especially if it is a subsequent infection of a different Dengue strain.
Boost Your Defence Against Dengue and Zika
To boost your defence against mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue and Zika, you will need effective and reliable mosquito protection, both indoor and outdoor.
The GoodAire Air Revitalizer H1 and Atomizer P1 create mosquito-free zones within minutes as water mixed with powerful essential oils (proven to knock down mosquitoes) is released into the air. The natural oils repel and knock down mosquitoes, forming an invisible shield around you and your family.