Things You Should Know About Dengue Fever – Prevention And Control

With the onset of monsoon, like every year, spread of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue is on rise. Currently there is a rise increasing cases of dengue and malaria. Monsoon can cause a surge in dengue cases due to the increase in mosquito breeding surroundings. The monsoon season is here and so being the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. While talking about mosquito-borne diseases

Dengue:

Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an “Aedes” mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever:

Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include

  • Sudden,  high fever.
  • 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.

Severe dengue:

A patient enters what is called the critical phase normally about 3-7 days after illness onset. It is at this time, when the fever is dropping (below 38°C/100°F) in the patient, that warning signs associated with severe dengue can manifest. Severe dengue is a potentially fatal complication, due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment.

Warning signs that doctors should look for include:

  • severe abdominal pain.
  • persistent vomiting.
  • rapid breathing.
  • bleeding gums.
  • fatigue.
  • blood in vomit. 
  • restlessness.

If patients manifest these symptoms during the critical phase, close observation for the next 24–48 hours is essential so that proper medical care can be provided, to avoid complications and risk of death.

If you think you have dengue:

  • Seek a healthcare provider if you develop a fever or have symptoms of dengue.
  • Rest:  Take rest as much as possible.
  • Take the medicines: paracetamol is usedto control fever and relieve pain. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Drink plenty of fluids: To stay hydrated. Drink water or drinks with added electrolytes.

Treatment:

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever.

  • Fever reducers and pain killers can be taken to control the symptoms of muscle aches and pains, and fever.
  • The best options to treat these symptoms are acetaminophen or paracetamol.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided. These anti-inflammatory drugs act by thinning the blood, and in a disease with risk of hemorrhage, blood thinners may exacerbate the prognosis.

 Precautions and Control:

The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for dengue as well as for other diseases that Aedes mosquito transmit. 

  • Covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis.
  • Applying appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers.
  • Wearing clothing that minimizes skin exposure to mosquitoes.
  • Using of personal household protection measures, such as window screens, repellents, insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers.
  • Drink boiled water.
  • Consume fresh homemade food.
  • Make sure your home is well-ventilated.
  • Wash hands before eating any food.
  • Avoid touching your nose and mouth without washing your hands.
  • Avoid going to crowded places to reduce risk of viral infections.
  • Disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats that can hold water.
  • Allow the sick child or family member to rest and sleep under a bed net or use insect repellant while feverish.
  • Eat well:  Consuming a healthy and balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can help boost immunity.
  • Educate yourself: Make yourself aware of the disease, its symptoms, and treatment to ensure reaching out for the appropriate treatment at the right time. Progression of the disease can be fatal.