Dengue is a Dang-erous Disease
Global incidence of dengue has drastically upped in the last few years. According to the World Health Organisations (WHO), there are about 390 million cases of dengue fever worldwide, and of the total number of cases, 96 million require medical treatment.
Dengue and its symptoms
Dengue is a mosquito – borne viral disease caused by one of the many closely related dengue viruses. It is an acute illness caused by one of the many types of mosquitoes in the genus Aeges aegyptia . Talking about its symptoms, Dr. Mukesh Mehra, a senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Max super speciality hos-pital, patpar-ganj says, “Typically people infected with dengue virus are asymptomatic (80%) and only 5% have severe illness.
Early signs of dengue may include high fever, joint pains, nausea, head-ache, vomiting, dip in blood pressure and would perpetuate with a chara-cteristic skin rash. Though mostly the fever doesn,t last beyond a week, some cases may develop more critical symptoms and pose life thr-eatening danger. The latter situation is characterized by a drop in the level of blood platelets, blood plasma leakage or a severely low blood pressure.
The rare case, when dengue devel-ops into a life threatening disease is referred to as Dengue Hemorrh-agic Fever or Dengue Shock Synd-rome. The former is characterized by Haemorrhage, blood plasma leak-age, and an exceptionally low platelet count. While, the latter occurs due to dangerously low blood pressure, whi-ch may lead to a circulatory colla-pse ( shock ).
Incidence of Dengue
Though, the fever can attack any-body, the ones with a weak immue system are at greater risk than others. “Dengue like all other viru-ses has undergone mutation and nearly four variant strains of denue have been identified, “said Dr. Amit-abh Parti – Additional Director, Inter-net Medicine – Forests Memorial Re-search Institute, Gurgaon.
Dengue prevention plan
- Dengue virus is mostly active in the. early morning and later afternoon.
- Tropical and sub- tropical areas are more prone to dengue out-breaks. Travellers from and across such regions can also carry the disease.
- Reduction of number of mosqui-toes by improved water storage, proper waste disposal, and check-ing water stagnancy.
- Mosquito repellents are also quite effective but they should be used with the following points of cau-tion : avoid them for infants bel-ow km 2 months of age, for in-fants older than 2 months, apply repellents containing 10% FEET, avoid applying them on palms, near eyes or mouth, always read the instruction on the label, parti-cularly for babies, pregnant and breast feeding women.
- Avoid wearing dark and tight clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours. Wear loose, white and long clothes, which over the whole body.
Mosquitoes find it difficult to bite through loose clothes than tight fitting clothes.
- The worst hit age group has been school and college children. An effective implementation of wearing full – sleeved clothes policy can bring down the number . of cases by upto 50%.
- The government should ensure a live reporting of its incidence. This will keep people informed and aware of the areas it is more prevalent in, which should translate into a heightened cautio-usness.
It is believed that any fever during the rainy season, be it acute or otherwise, should be considered den-gue. Proper tests should be run. to check the infection because any de-lay in doing so can prove fatal. Th-ough usually, the fever that lasts beyond 7 days is not dengue.
Diagnosis of this disease isn,t diffi-cult. A blood test for the disease against the virus can tell whether the person is affected or not. But, what remains a concern is that more often than not, people can brush aside the symptoms of dengue as a less dangerous viral fever. So even if you have a speck of doubt, do not delay to go for the test.
What makes the situation grimmer is the absence of an outlined treat-ment for the disease. An early dete-ction and a proper medication are considered positive factors and help in lowering fatality rate of the dis-ease. See a doctor, take the pres-cribed medication which are mostly pain relievers, rest and drink maxi-mum fluids. If the situation worsens in the first 24 hours, do not delay going to a hospital for checking against critical cities.
Aspirin and other NSAID, should not be given to patients. These will ca-use severe bleeding. Hence, it is ad-visable to take paracetamol to reli-eve muscle and joint aches, fever and headache. It is further advised sponging the patient with water at room temperature using a wet, squ-, eezed out towel for about 20 minu-tes at a time. This will help to lower the high temperature. Well not to use ice water for this purpose.