Everything you need to know about Dengue

Although the monsoons have brought us enough relief from the summer’s heat, it has also brought us a host of headline-catching infectious diseases. With Swine flu and dengue fever wreaking havoc across the nation, it’s time to remember and abide to the most popular adage-’Prevention is better than cure’.

Here’s an article from our experts that gets you covered about the most effective prevention tips, cure, home remedies and lesser known facts about Dengue fever. Let’s get started.

Dengue: Important facts

Dengue (also known as Breakbone fever) was first recognized in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. Today, this disease is widespread among Asian and Latin American countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalization among children and adults in these regions. The causes of Dengue include population growth and urbanization, lack of sanitation and ineffective mosquito control.

The Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. This mosquito is also known to transmit water borne disease like chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika infection.

There are 4 different, but closely related serotypes of the virus that cause dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4). When a person recovers from infection from one particular serotype, it provides lifelong immunity against that serotype. This finding implies that when a person gets infected by dengue for the second time, he/she may have developed immunity for the first serotype but not for the second one. However, cross-immunity to the other serotypes after recovery is only partial and temporary.

Transmission

Dengue is spread through a cycle of human-to mosquito- to human and not human-human cycle.

The infected Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue. A vector is a vehicle that carries and transmits a disease to its host organism. The virus is then transmitted to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito which could transmit the virus to multiple hosts after an incubation period of 4–10 days.

It could also be transmitted when an uninfected Aedes aegypti bites an infected human. When this happens, the blood of the mosquito gets infected with dengue virus and this is how the cycle repeats.

A lot of people are under the misconception that dengue is caused by night biting mosquitos. This is however, not true. Dengue typically affects kids and older age people due to day biting mosquitoes. And thus, you must be as cautious in daytime as you are at night. It’s always best to wear full sleeved apparel while doing to places with high number of mosquitos.

Signs and symptoms

Diagnosing dengue fever is a xchallenge, as its signs and symptoms is easily confused with those of other diseases — such as malaria, leptospirosis and typhoid fever.

It’s recommended that you visit a doctor as soon as you experience fever for 2 continuous days. Check out the other symptoms of Dengue below.

signs and symptoms of Dengue

Treatment

As Dengue is a virus, there isn’t any specific treatment or cure. However, intervention can help, depending on how severe the disease is.

The immediate symptoms of a person suffering with Dengue is loss of fluid and lowering of Blood platelet count. If these two symptoms are taken care of, it could cure the disease to an extent (in the initial stages).

Following are the effective tips which helps you fight Dengue and recover faster.

Papaya seed extract

Though there isn’t any scientific evidence that papaya seed extract could cure dengue, many patients who have administered it have witnessed tremendous results. Papaya seed extracts helps increase the blood platelets level and save from dipping down further.

Citrus limetta

Citrus limetta, the fruit from the citrus family, also has the ability to increase the platelets count. However, this too, has no scientific evidence from doctors.

Intake of plenty of fluids

In milder forms of Dengue, the patient experiences heavy loss of fluid due to high fever and vomiting. In such cases, the person should drink clean water, ideally bottled rather than tap water. Ensure that you take a lot of fluids like coconut water, papaya leaf juice, neem juice and other juices at frequent intervals to keep your body well hydrated. Staying hydrated also reduces the symptoms of headaches,muscle cramps and helps in flushing out excess toxins from your body.

More severe forms of dengue fever may need intravenous (IV) fluid supplementation or blood transfusion.

Prevention

It’s difficult to anticipate whether we are prone to a particular disease, but it’s easy to take precautionary measures. Here’s a few tips to keep yourself away from Dengue.

  • Use screens on doors and windows.
  • It’s better to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when you go outside.
  • Use mosquito netting over your bed at night.
  • Use an insect repellent as directed. It’s best to choose one with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • It’s better to limit the amount of time you spend outside during the day, especially in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Don’t give mosquitoes places to breed. They lay their eggs in water. Get rid of standing water in things like wading pools and gutters.
  • Make sure the drains are not blocked
  • The dengue vaccine is not yet available in India as it is most active only in sub-tropical and tropical regions. So, let’s save ourselves by taking the right precautions.

    If you have any queries, kindly comment below.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *