Is There A Need For A Dengue Uniform?

Every year, I anticipate receiving a letter from my youngest son teacher that states: "Dear Mrs. L, Please be informed that your child will be required to wear the Dengue Uniform starting this coming July. Thank you for your cooperation."

For those unaware, Dengue or Breakbone Fever is a viral illness transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes Aegypti).  It is now considered as the leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics by the CDC.  

A lot of you (especially those who live outside the tropics) might wonder what in the world a "dengue uniform" is.  Allow me to first explain to you what it's not, so as to clear out any misconception about the said uniform. It is not:

> A specially made laboratory suit that we often see in movies that those CDC (Center for Disease Control) laboratory personnel wear.

> A clothing that contains citronella or N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (say what?!), chemicals that are known to ward off those pesky little insects.

> An absolute guarantee to a mosquito bite-free child

What It Is

A dengue uniform are simply pieces of clothing that covers the upper and lower part of the body with the exclusion of the face, neck, and hands. In my sons school, they require the children to wear jogging pants, long-sleeved shirts, and white (mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors) knee-high socks inside those bottoms for additional protection every school day. 

What about the face, neck, and hands? Don't mosquitoes bite on them too? Of course! Ski masks, gloves, and scarves are optional. Your child will surely be protected when they wear these accessories but ready yourself for a trip to the emergency room from fainting episodes due to temperature overload, not to mention, ridicule from peers.

For extra protection, I bought my kids those natural mosquito repellents. I refrain from using the ones that comes in contact with the skin even if they claim to be DEET-free. I used to be really skeptical about the said product. You can't blame me for being such. I once fell for those hologram bracelet that claimed to "improve strength, balance, and flexibility". I've gotten over that moment of stupidity after I logically explained to myself that Bill Clinton wore one too. Anyhoo, we've tried these natural mosquito repellents and found out that they actually work! 

The Need

June is officially the start of the rainy season in the Philippines and the start of heavy party rocking for the Culicidae family. Although there's no specific dengue season anymore since there is prevalence of cases all year round, it is during the rainy season when the statistics shoot up. According to Dr. Lee Suy (Department of   coordinator for Dengue Prevention), the Philippines ranked fourth in highest Dengue incidence among ASEAN countries back in 2010.  Based on the reports, the cases have increased this year in most parts of the country.

So, is there a need for a dengue uniform? Definitely!

My youngest son was inflicted with it years ago. My paranoia with the said virus has intensified since then. It's hard to get a specific track down as to where he got bitten by a mosquito-carrying Dengue virus. So, eventhough wearing one will not be a 100% guaranteed protection against mosquito bites, I still am grateful for my sons school for pushing this measure as a fight against Dengue. 

Wearing a so-called dengue uniform is more of a precautionary measure against mosquito bites than anything else. The light at the end of the dark tunnel for this extremely dangerous virus is that dengue is actually preventable. That is what we should focus on.

Sanofi is currently undergoing different intensive clinical trials for the dengue vaccine. The vaccine is reported to have been able to fight of successfully three out of the four dengue virus strains. Unfortunately, the year in which the vaccine will become available has not yet been stated. While we're waiting patiently for that, we can protect our children by a simple institutive action such as the dengue uniform. In a fight against illnesses, my stance has always been "whatever works". This one works just fine, for now atleast.

The Mommist

Thanks for viewing! 


  1. I'm paranoid about Dengue too! This is a good way to prevent mosquito bites. I usually put OFF lotion on my kids for protection. Para'Kito's expensive. Even the pellets are expensive. Maybe because they're effective.


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