Amid the rapid transmission of dengue by mosquitoes Aedes aegyptithe use of repellent is an auxiliary measure to protect against bites.
In eight days, the capital of São Paulo confirmed 1,552 cases of dengue. In the first 30 days of the year, the city recorded 3,344 infections.
The municipality of Rio de Janeiro declared an emergency, as did Acre, Goiás, Minas Gerais and the Federal District. The disease is spreading across the country in an uncontrolled manner.
Even those who receive doses of the Qdenga vaccine must continue to use repellent. The guidance is from Evaldo Stanislau de Araújo, infectious disease specialist at the Hospital das Clínicas de São Paulo, and Gislaine Ricci Leonardi, professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Unicamp.
“The vaccine is still new and there are data that will be known from its use on a larger scale and from complementary studies. The durability of protection and protection for viral serotypes (especially 3 and 4) are not absolute and therefore the Vaccinated people must continue protecting themselves”, says the doctor.
“Furthermore, the Aedes [aegypti] It is a vector of other arboviruses, such as Zika and Chikungunya, for which we do not yet have a vaccine”, adds the infectious disease specialist.
Read below the tips from experts interviewed by the report to make repellent an ally against the disease.
How to choose a good repellent?
There are different types of substances that are used today to repel insects. It largely depends on what is written on the product label. If you want a longer effect, some substances will offer longer protection.
“My suggestion is: always read the product label very carefully. It contains important information. Repellents need to be used as described on the label. Another suggestion is to ask the pharmacist for help when purchasing. He can guide you” , says Leonardi.
Can anyone use repellent? Is it contraindicated for any age group?
Repellents must always be used according to the leaflet instructions and, a priori, everyone can use them. Children often put their hands in their mouths and eyes, areas where the product should not be applied. “The advice is not to apply it to children’s hands. An adult should apply the repellent to their own hands and then spread it on the child’s body”, says Araújo.
Any repellent protects against mosquito bites Aedes aegypti?
Yes, as long as you are registered with Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). Depending on the concentration of substances present in the product, the effect will be longer or shorter.
Some must be reapplied after two hours; others last up to six hours. That’s why it’s important to read the label. In addition to synthetic active substances such as icaridin (Hydroxyethyl isobutyl piperidine carboxylate or Picaridin), DEET (N-dimethyl-meta-toluamide or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) and IR3535 (Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate or EBAAP), there are some natural agents such as lemon and eucalyptus oil.
Do plug sockets also protect? Yes, as long as it is registered with Anvisa. Check the packaging for how long the repellent can be left plugged in.
How to protect yourself from bites at night? Is applying repellent and sleeping ideal?
“I don’t recommend using repellent at night. You should use it when you can’t, when you go to an environment that will come into contact with insects. We can’t be in contact with these products all day, all night. It’s good to remember the other ways to protect yourself”, advises the teacher.
Do people who don’t leave the house need to use repellent every day?
At home, protective measures are different. Use of screens and mosquito nets whenever possible, keep the air conditioning on, when available, to lower the temperature and reduce mosquito activity, use of wall insecticides, take care not to have breeding sites and, of course, you can add the individual protection measures — clothing that protects exposed areas and repellents for use on the body.
Do homemade repellents protect against dengue?
There is no scientific proof that they work.
Does perfume take away the repellent effect?
It’s not to be taken away. It is recommended to always apply the repellent last. The guidance also applies to filters, sunscreen and moisturizer. The repellent must be applied to the body 15 minutes after applying these products.
Do you need to apply the repellent to all areas of the body, including those covered by clothing?
No, only in exposed areas.
How many times does the repellent need to be reapplied throughout the day?
You must follow the duration stated on the label. There are products that last six hours; others, two. If you come into contact with water you need to reapply immediately. This is the case with swimming in the sea, swimming pools and even rain, if it is intense.
Does sweat remove the repellent from the body?
If it’s intense, yes.
Is there a difference in protection between spray and cream repellents?
No. The important thing is to spread it well and avoid inhalation.