In the first four weeks of 2024, Brazil has already recorded more than 217,000 cases of dengue fever, according to data published by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday (30). This number represents more than three times the notifications recorded in the same period of the previous year, when 65,366 cases were reported.
According to the Ministry's information, the expected increase in cases of the disease is due to a group of factors, including the interaction between high temperatures, heavy rains, and the recent re-emergence of serotypes 3 and 4 of the dengue virus in Brazil.
Repellents can be allies in protection against dengue fever, as they help prevent mosquito bites. However, it is important to note that no repellent is 100% effective. Hey Land I spoke with dermatologist Nicoli Machado, who answered questions about using repellents.
Do repellents work against dengue mosquitoes?
Yes, but none of them are 100% effective. Other preventive measures are necessary, such as eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites, using protective barriers and protective shirts and pants, as well as extra attention to areas that will be frequented.
What are effective repellents?
The most effective repellents against dengue mosquitoes are those containing the active ingredients icaridin (picaridin) and DEET. These ingredients have been shown to be effective in repelling mosquitoes, including dengue mosquitoes. Regarding the concentration of Icaridin and DEET, it is recommended that the repellent contain at least 20% Icaridin or 30% DEET to achieve greater effectiveness against dengue mosquitoes.
Do repellents also work against Zika and chikungunya?
Yes, repellents can also be effective in protecting against mosquitoes that transmit Zika and chikungunya viruses. The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting these diseases, in addition to dengue fever.
What is the correct use of repellents?
The correct way to apply the repellent is to follow the manufacturer's instructions, which vary depending on the active consistency and concentration.
In general, it is recommended to apply the repellent to all exposed areas of the body, including the arms, legs, neck, and even the face. Often forgotten places are the feet, hands and ears. However, it is not necessary to apply the repellent to areas of the body covered by clothing.
Wearing mosquito repellent all day may not be necessary unless you are in an area with high mosquito activity. The repellent should be reapplied according to the manufacturer's instructions, usually every 4 to 6 hours, or more frequently if you sweat excessively or swim.
However, if it is not in a high-exposure area, it is best not to apply it throughout the day, as contact of these substances with the skin can expose it to a greater risk of allergies and dermatitis.
Choose a soap with a moisturizing function and a moisturizing barrier cream to improve hydration during periods when you are not using the repellent, and remember that using both together reduces the effectiveness of the repellent.
Does sunscreen work?
Although it may provide some additional protection against mosquito bites, it is important to remember that its effectiveness in preventing dengue fever may be limited. It is best to use a separate repellent with sunscreen for more complete protection.
Are there differences in effectiveness between repellent creams and sprays?
There is not much difference in effectiveness between insect repellent and cream. Both can provide protection if applied correctly.
Can pregnant women and children use insect repellent?
It is always important to follow medical recommendations. In general, repellents with low concentrations of icaridin or DEET are recommended for children and pregnant women.
Source: Redação Terra Você
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