Categories: Politics

With the increase in dengue fever in Brazil, find out which repellents are most recommended

With the increase in dengue fever in Brazil, find out which repellents are most recommended

Brazil reached one million cases of dengue, according to the Ministry of Health, this Thursday (29). The increase brings a warning about how the population should protect themselves against mosquitoes. Among the measures to avoid the insect are: insecticides, repellents and even screens and mosquito nets.

But did you know that not just any substance is capable or recommended to repel Aedes aegypti? Furthermore, oral products, whether tablets or vitamins, also have no approved indication for repelling the dengue mosquito.

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) recommends that, to combat the dengue mosquito, the use of repellents regulated by the agency that contain one of the following three substances:

  • IR3535, present in Merck repellents;
  • DEET (NN-diethylmetatoluamide), present in repellents such as Off;
  • Icaridin, present in repellents such as Exposis.

“The important thing is that the consumer, when purchasing this product, checks what the target insect is, because the insecticide can be for cockroaches and other insects (…) If it is indicated for mosquitoes, they are effective and safe and they go through a Anvisa’s evaluation”, explains Rodrigo Ottoni, cosmetics and sanitizing manager at the Agency.

Children under two years old

Anvisa reinforces that to apply repellents to children under two years of age, parents must follow medical advice. Dermatologists point out that IR3535 is a substance more suitable for use in babies over 6 months of age.

Heitor Gonçalves, president of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, warns to avoid applying repellent to some areas of the child's body. “We recommend not using it on your fingers, as the child puts their finger in their mouth and this will increase toxicity. Do not use it near the eyes, nose or mouth, the ideal is to use it on the cheek here in front of the face”, explains the president.

Children up to 12 years old

For ages up to 12 years, the Agency recommends the use of repellents containing Icaridin or DEET with concentrations of up to 10% and application no more than three times a day.

The expert also warns that it is important to avoid products with odors, as they attract mosquitoes.

Environmental products

The Agency also points out that to combat the dengue mosquito, sanitizing repellents – products for use in the environment, can also be used.

Among the compounds recommended by Anvisa is neem oil, which contains the substance azadirachtin. Use is approved in insecticides, but the product must be registered.

Anvisa states that insecticides based on citronella, andiroba, clove oil, among so-called “natural” insecticides, have no proven effectiveness.

The list of sanitizers and repellents approved by the agency can be seen on the Anvisa portal.

Dengue in Brazil

Data from the Ministry of Health shows 1,017,278 cases, with 214 deaths. There are 687 cases under investigation to find out whether the death was caused by dengue.

Due to the significant increase in the number of cases of the virus in the country, the Ministry of Health announced last Tuesday (27) the holding of D-Day to combat dengue in Brazil for next Saturday (2). The “10 minutes against dengue” mobilization aims to intensify actions to prevent and eliminate outbreaks of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits the disease.

Flavio Marques is one of the people who have dengue, and reports on the symptoms of the disease. “The pain in my body is horrible (…) headache and pain in the eye area (…) I had a fever of 38.6 degrees, but it has reduced a lot because it was much higher than that”.

Dengue does not have a specific treatment, that is, medications are used to alleviate the symptoms. The disease presents with an acute fever of 39°C to 40°C, which is accompanied by body pain and malaise, as well as severe pain behind the eyes. Anyone who presents these symptoms should seek health care immediately.

Beware of self-medication

There are medications that, according to the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), are contraindicated in cases of suspected virus, as they can worsen and evolve the clinical picture of the disease.

Anti-inflammatories or medicines based on acetylsalicylic acid, some known as: indomethacin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, piroxicam, naproxen, sulfinpyrazone, phenylbutazone, sulindac and diflunisal. And corticosteroid medications, such as: prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, should be avoided, as they can increase the bleeding tendency in dengue cases.

According to Renato Kfouri, infectious disease specialist vice-president of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations, the use of substances that inhibit our immune system, or that are toxic especially to the liver, can complicate the evolution. “For this reason, the use of anti-inflammatory antibiotic corticosteroids is contraindicated. Dengue is a disease that can only be treated with vigorous hydration and it is important to highlight to patients who are diagnosed with dengue what are the warning signs that will prevent the development of a more serious illness”, explains Kfouri.

Source: CNN Brasil