Dengue Facts

- A flu-like viral disease spread by the bite of an Aedes Mosquito
- Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a severe, often fatal complication of dengue.
- No Specific treatment for dengue
- Prevention is by avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating breeding sites of mosquito.
- Safe way to prevent mosquito bite is by the use of DEET Free or Organic Repellants.

Hazards of DEET!

DEET Repellent Fact Sheet
CAROLINE COX / Journal of Pesticide Reform v.25, n.3, Fall 2005 17oct2005

DEET is a repellent used by almost one-third of the U.S. population every year.
It is one of the few pesticides applied directly to skin and clothing.

Symptoms of DEET poisoning in exposed people include:
  • vomiting
  • rashes
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • and seizures.
Children appear to be particularly susceptible, and some pediatricians recommend that DEET not be used on children.

In both laboratory animals and human cells, DEET has damaged DNA, the genetic material in living cells.

DEET can cross the placenta and move from a mother to her unborn child. When pregnant laboratory animals are exposed to DEET, the exposure has caused fetal loss and abnormal skeletons in the offspring.

Male laboratory animals exposed to DEET produced abnormal sperm.

Exposure to DEET in amounts equivalent to what people typically apply to their skin has affected the behavior and nervous system of laboratory animals. Effects include:
  • reduced sensory and motor skills
  • a reduction in the ability of the blood-brain barrier to pass molecules through to the brain
  • changes in the activity of an enzyme that helps transmit nerve impulses
  • and death of nerve cells in the brain.
DEET has synergistic interactions with common insecticides, including permethrin and malathion.

The combination of DEET and fenvalerate is synergistically toxic to pets.

DEET frequently contaminates streams. Exposure of developing chicks to DEET caused birth defects.

Caroline Cox is NCAP’s staff scientist.

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