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Tackling Dengue Fever--How?

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August 1, 2017 0 92 3 minutes, 26 seconds read
Rashmi Gupta Bajpai - Max Hospital
Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine

With the first splash of water, we find ourselves refreshed when the monsoons arrive. This is the time when our bodies are vulnerable to suffer from the most upsetting diseases. Monsoons are round the corner and along with general health disorders, one always has the possibility of getting dengue. Dengue has already targeted a lot of doonites in the previous year and is a special cause of concern this year too.

What Is Dengue?

Dengue is an infectious disease which affects 50 to 528 people million every year globally. Also, about 20,000 people die of this disease. It is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected tropical Aedes Aegypti mosquito. We can differentiate Aedes mosquito from other mosquitoes as they have white stripes all over their body thus are also known as tiger mosquitoes.

Know about its causes

Dengue is a disease caused by viruses spread by mosquitoes that thrive in and near human lodgings. When a tropical mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. When the infected mosquito then bites another person, the virus enters that person's bloodstream. That’s how dengue spreads. Dengue does not get transmits directly from person-to-person.

Monsoon seasons provide an apt condition for them to breed. The mosquito lays about 1200 eggs at a time and 400- 500 larvae can emerge from these. They lay eggs on the surface of the collected water. And they need just a week time or 7-10 days to hatch.   

What can you Experience?

Symptoms appear between 3–14 days after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that can attack infants, young children and adults. Younger children are affected the most.

The fever lasts from two to seven days. Younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults. The disease is also called "break bone fever" because of the severe muscle and joint pains. Platelets number decrease drastically in extreme conditions which cause bleeding disorder.

  • Sudden, high fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever
  • Dengue hemorrhagic fever and shock

Treatment of Acute Dengue

  • A novel vaccine for dengue fever has been approved and is available only in 11 countries. Dengue vaccine is not yet available in India due to varying baseline serotype immunity. A dengue patient can be given lots of fluids either by mouth or intravenously for the mild or moderate disease.
  • For more severe cases a blood transfusion may be required. About half a million people require admission to hospital a year. A number of tests are available to confirm the diagnosis including detecting antibodies to the virus or its RNA.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen should not be used.

How is the Recovery?

Recovery from dengue generally takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Differential Diagnosis

Dengue shares similar signs and symptoms with Malaria, yellow fever, viral hepatitis, leptospirosis, Chikungunya.

What is the Prevention?

Dengue is not transmitted directly from person-to-person. People who have dengue fever should rest, drink plenty of fluids and take medicines according to the doctor’s prescription. These mosquitoes require very less water to breed and multiply at a rapid pace.

  • Clear water from vases, coolers bowls and tyres and do not let the water collect anywhere
  • Remove water from flower pots
  • Turn over all water storage containers
  • Clear blockages
  • Wear full sleeves clothes
  • Immediately run to a doctor when you have any of the above-stated symptoms
  • Limit exposure to mosquitoes and their bites

It is the responsibility of every citizen to educate their kids and people about dengue. Also, cleanliness is the only prevention. Not only our house and premises have to be cleaned but the society as well. Do not hesitate to point out to your neighbours if you feel something can give way to dengue.




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