Dengue disease: Symptoms, cure and everything you need to know
New Delhi : It's time when India comes under a severe health threat every year. Vector-borne disease Dengue grips the nation during the time and peaks during the monsoon when environmental conditions favour the breeding of mosquitoes.
Shockingly, despite running several awareness campaigns, India has registered a hike of 300% in dengue cases in fast few years with the total number of dengue deaths in 2017 being the highest in the last decade.
According to a National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) report, dengue cases increased to 188,401 in 2017, from less than 60,000 in 2009.
Dengue has also grown across the world. Prior to 1970, only nine countries had experienced severe dengue epidemics, but the disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries.
Cause of Dengue disease
Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes, mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Ae albopictus. These mosquitoes also transmit other potentially serious vector-borne diseases including chikungunya, yellow fever and zika infection.
Till date no credible vaccine has been found to fight the disease, only way to stay away from it is prevention from mosquito bites.
It has been known that the dengue virus is carried by the mosquitoes active during dawn and dusk. Symptoms of the disease usually begin within seven days of the bite.
Signs & symptoms
Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is a severe flu-like illness that affects all age groups. In most people, the fever passes off at its own course. However, in some patients it can cause serious complications like hemorrhagic fever, which can damage the lymph and blood vessels and can cause high fever, bleeding from nose and gums, liver enlargement and circulatory system failure.
If the platelet count dips too low, it may also increase the chances of internal bleeding, and platelet transmission becomes important.
Other than high fever, the symptoms also include: Pain in muscles and joints, Rashes in the body, Severe headache, Discomfort behind the eyes, Vomiting and feeling nauseous
Curative measures for dengue
Till date there is no specific cure or treatment for the disease. However, it is advised that you consult a doctor as soon as you register any of the above mentioned symptoms.
For controlling the fever, just take Paracetamol tablets and avoid using any painkillers. At the same time, keep a check on the patient’s platelet count and don’t panic if the platelet count dips because it’s normal to have it on the lower side. The platelet count will get back in order in seven to nine days only by consuming Paracetamol tablets and loads of fluid.
Keep dengue at bay
The only way to control or prevent the transmission of dengue is to stop the breeding of mosquitoes as much as possible through a series of measures: Domestic water storage containers should be kept covered and water tanks must be filled with clean water and coolers or flower pots should also be cleaned on a weekly basis. Don’t let water stagnate in any place.
Kitchen and garden residue must be cleared on a daily basis. Don’t let even solid waste stand at a place for a long time.
Avoid using strong perfumes and soaps as they attract mosquitoes.
Make sure children apply mosquito repellents when they step out to play in the evening.