Citronella Oil: A Newspaper’s Answer to Dengue

Mawbima, a Sri Lankan newspaper, is certainly doing its part to fight dengue.

During the country’s National Dengue Week in April 2014, the paper published a series of articles to educate their readers about the dangerous mosquito-borne dengue virus. And they infused their printing ink with citronella oil!

It seems incredibly genius and obvious! Citronella oil is widely used as an insect repellent. So why not use it in the newspaper?

Here’s a great video from LeoBurnettAsia explaining it all.


What is dengue?

The dengue virus is transmitted by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Dengue fever, which is caused by the dengue virus, has symptoms like:

  • high fever
  • headaches
  • joint and body pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • rashes

Although there is no cure, dengue fever is manageable with rest, constant re-hydration and painkillers.

However, severe cases of dengue fever result in dengue hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms such as stomach pain, persistent vomiting and diarrhea, weakness, breathing problems, and internal bleeding do occur. For children or patients with other complications, dengue hemorrhagic fever can be fatal.


Dengue Stats

The World Health Organization estimates there are between 50 – 100 million dengue infections per year. The infections are mainly concentrated in Asia and Latin America. WHO also estimates 500,000 of these cases are diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Mawbima newspaper is doing its part to help reduce dengue infections. We should do ours too! Get citronella oil!


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