Dengue:

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease occurring in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It is caused by the Dengue virus. The Dengue virus has four variants namely  DENV1,  DENV2, DENV3, and DENV4. It is common in warm, wet areas of the world. Up to 400 million people get infected with Dengue every year. Symptoms appear between 3 to 14 days after infection.

Signs and Symptoms:

Signs of Dengue includes:

  1. High fever.
  2. Joint pain.
  3. Skin rash.
  4. Pain behind the eyes.
  5. Swollen glands.
  6. Headache and vomiting.

Sometimes dengue turns into a hemorrhagic fever.

Signs and symptoms of severe dengue:

Severe dengue fever symptoms include:

  1. Bleeding from gums, nose, or under your skin.  
  2. Dengue shock syndrome, which leads to shock and massive bleeding. 
  3. Persistent vomiting.
  4. Fatigue.
  5. Restlessness.
  6. Blood in vomit.

If the patient develops any of the above symptoms, close observation is required for the next 24 – 48 hours. It is essential to provide proper medical care since severe dengue is a medical emergency.

It is a mosquito-borne disease:

Dengue spreads through various species of female mosquitoes of the Aedes genus. Mosquitoes get infected when they bite a person who is infected with the dengue virus. You can get dengue if an infected mosquito bites you. These mosquitoes lay eggs on stagnant water present in water containers, flower vases, buckets, and animal dishes. Dengue is common in more than a hundred countries in the world. Dengue does not spread from an infected person to other people. These mosquitoes live both indoors and outdoors near people. Mosquitoes that spread dengue bite during the day and night.

The Mortality rate for dengue is less than 1% when detected early and with proper medical care.

If dengue hemorrhagic fever is not treated on time, death rates can be as high as 20% to 50%. Around 1500 to 2500 people die of severe dengue fever every year. In 2020, 35,315 people were diagnosed with dengue in India, and there were 32 deaths due to dengue.

5 reasons that cause dengue in the rainy season:

 

  1. Water Logging – During the rainy season, water gets accumulated on streets and this stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  2. Unclean environments – Environments with dirt and grime provide a place for dengue mosquitoes to breed and spread the virus among humans by biting them.
  3. Rapid Urbanization – Urbanization provides a means for mosquitoes to travel and spread the virus among humans quickly.
  4. Rain creates new breeding sites for the mosquitoes that spread dengue – Rainwater that gets collected in the water containers, potholes on the streets, open drains, and flower pots provide sites for female mosquitoes to lay eggs. This increases the population of these mosquitoes in the rainy season and hence there are more dengue fever cases in the rainy season.
  5. The survival rate of mosquitoes is high during the rainy season. The temperature during the monsoon is optimum for the eggs to hatch and progress to the adult stage.

Treatment for dengue:

There is no specific medicine to treat dengue. Consult your doctor for dengue fever treatment

  1. Rest as much as you can.
  2. Take acetaminophen (Paracetamol) for relief from pain and to control fever. Do not take aspirin and ibuprofen since they can increase bleeding.
  3. Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fluids with added electrolytes.
  4. At the hospital, patients may receive IV (Intravenous) fluids.
  5. If you have severe symptoms such as vomiting ( 3 to 4 times in 24 hours), bleeding from the nose and gums, or blood in stools, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately since severe dengue is a medical emergency and it requires immediate medical care.
  6. Home remedies such as drinking pomegranate juice and extracts of papaya leaf can increase the platelets in the blood.

Prevention:

 

  1. There is no vaccine for preventing dengue infection. In 2015, Sanofi Pastuer developed a dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. But it can be administered to only people who were previously diagnosed with dengue infection. Dengvaxia is approved in more than 20 countries.
  2. To lower the risk of infection when travelling to areas where dengue is found, wear clothes that cover your arms, feet, and legs.
  3. Eat fresh and immunity-boosting food during monsoons. Visit wellness architecture website, https://www.wellnessarchitecture.com/resources/articles/

for information on food storage and eating habits for good health.

  1. Close unscreened windows and doors.
  2. Drain and remove water from containers such as flower pots and vases at least once a week.
  3. Dispose of solid wastes properly and keep the garbage cans covered.
  4. Spray insecticides in mosquito breeding areas.
  5. Use mosquito repellent
  6.  Use mosquito repellent creams to keep the mosquitos away
  7.  Place mosquito patches on the back of clothing. Mosquito patches are non-toxic and can last up to 3 days.
  8. Mosquito wipes are a good option for children.
  1. Plant saplings at roadsides to prevent clear some of the water accumulated due to waterlogging. Rainwater harvesting also helps clear the waterlogging problem, thereby reducing the breeding sites for dengue mosquitoes.
  2. Having a tidy home is important to prevent dengue mosquitoes from entering your home. Make sure that there is no collection of filth or dirt. Ensure that there are no unwashed dishes and clean the floors often. Use cleaning solutions that contain mosquito deterrents. When cleaning your house, use cleaning solutions that discourage dengue mosquitoes from entering your home. Add a drop of citronella or lemongrass to water while cleaning the floors to repel mosquitoes.
  3. Electronic vaporizers can keep the mosquitoes out of the house. However, they may cause allergic reactions in children. So use electronic vaporizers cautiously.
  4. Educate the community on the risks of mosquito-borne diseases.
  5. Emergency vector control measures such as spraying insecticides during dengue outbreaks must be undertaken by health authorities.

Do not let the fear of dengue overpower you. Prevent yourselves with the simple tips by our Wellness experts. Remember, prevention is better than cure. if you are infected, get immediate treatment and medicines. Your wellness is your prized possession.

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