Dengue fever is an unpleasant sickness that is caused by a virus. The dengue virus is transmitted to humans by infected (female) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and does not spread from person to person. Usually, the outbreaks happen in humid climates, and therefore you need to be careful during the rainy season. This deadly disease is also called by names like the dandy fever or break-bone fever since it generates severe muscle pains and severe joint breakage.
- Research on the rapid increase of dengue spread reveals a vital truth about the important factors behind this critical situation.
- Overcrowding of urban areas increases the places of development for the infected mosquitoes.
- The international commercial transactions can be considered as one of the main reason for spreading the disease to various areas.
- The environmental changes taking place across the globe creates a safe place for the infected mosquitoes to live and spread.
- Travellers who have been to the infected areas are also a source of the infection.
Symptoms of the Dengue fever
- Fever – During the initial hours of infection symptoms the person might experience high fever
- Joint pain
- Generalised body pain. Pain is extreme around and behind the eyes, flushing spots, itchy red rashes, and swollen lymph nodes.
- The rashes usually appears under the feet, Palms, and stomach
- Some people might experience an appetite loss, back pain, stomach ache, vomiting, and sore throat.
A recovery period for mild dengue fever might last from 10 to 14 days or in certain patients they might feel the symptoms for more days.
Severe symptoms of dengue that should be treated immediately
Non-stop bleeding in any part of the body. Internal bleeding is characterized by blood-stained or black colored stools, bloody urine, vomit, etc. These symptoms usually occur in little kids under age of 15 years.
Excessive bleeding can lead to Dengue Shock Syndrome
DSS affected person generates hike in blood pressure, heavy bleeding, liver damage, low platelet count and stomach ache.
If you find the above symptoms in patients, then you need to immediately seek physician help and shift them to intensive care as soon as possible.
Detecting the infection
Mostly your physician would ask you to do a complete blood test with a coagulation and metabolic panel. Low white blood cell and less platelet might be discovered in the blood test results. In addition to these tests, spinal tap and urine culture test will help the physician to make out if the fever is dengue or any other viral infections. Other investigations include dengue viral plaque reduction tests, IgG-ELISA and PCR tests respectively.
There is no particular treatment for this disease. Treatment is only available to keep the symptoms under control, and it is called supportive treatment. It includes
- Restoration of body’s fluid balance through the intake of more fluids. At hospitals, fluids rich in electrolytes would be administered to the child intravenously. If at home you should give her/him more liquid diets. Keeping the body hydrated is very important to avoid complications of dehydration.
- A balanced diet would aid the recovery process
- Transfusion of whole blood or blood products like platelets, Red blood cells (RBCs), Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), etc. as per the requirements
- Antibiotics to control any secondary infection
- Maintaining an intake-output chart (to measure the volume of fluid taken by the patient and the amount of urine passed by the patient in 24 hours)
Preventing the disease
- Make sure that there is no water stagnation around your house. Throw away all the unused pots, tires and vessels that would hold water.
- Using mosquito nets and sticking mosquito mesh on your doors and windows would reduce the number of mosquitoes entering your home. Mosquito mesh and nets would keep not only the mosquitoes away but also the other insects from getting into your home.
- Apply mosquito repellents and make the kids wear pants/trousers (ankle length) and shirts/t-shirts with long sleeves (reaching the wrists) when you take them outdoors. You can use a little pain relief balm like amrutanjan, tiger balm, etc. if you do not have insect repellent cream/ ointments at home.
- An electric fly swatter (mosquito bat) is a must to kill the insects (all tiny insects)
- Aedes aegypti are usually active during morning and evening time, so keep the doors and windows closed (if you had not covered it with mosquito mesh) during that time of the day.
Dengue is a life-threatening disease in case of children. If proper care is not taken from the beginning, it would be difficult to save the children’s life. There is no need to get scared. All you need is to be careful whenever your kid gets a fever, body pain, etc. If you follow the above mentioned preventive measures you can keep dengue and other insect-borne illnesses at bay.