Dengue: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Dengue Fever

The dengue fever crises continues to shake the capital city of the country with a six year old boy and a lady losing their lives to the vector borne disease, thereby raised the number to 11 and now at the time of writing this post, it has reached to 14 with the death of a 7-year old boy. Now, the fear of this fever is rattling the citizens of Delhi. At this juncture, the Delhi Government has recommended people to take some preventive actions to stay protected from this disease.

What is Dengue fever?

As most of us know, it is a mosquito-borne disease. But, as most of us think it is not a disease that occurs due to the bite of any mosquito. It actually affects an individual, when the mosquito that is infected with one of the four closely related dengue viruses bites him/her. When the dengue fever becomes severe, it is known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. It can lead to issues like heavy bleeding, pain in stomach, vomiting, sudden heavy drop in blood pressure and even it is life-threatening as well. 

Symptoms:

Once a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, it will general take around 3-14 days for the symptoms to show up. Some of the dengue symptoms include:

• Nausea and vomiting

• Rashes in skin

• Severe pain in joints and muscles

• High fever

• Pain behind the eyes

• Nose bleeds

• Bleeding in gums

When these dengue symptoms are experienced, it is better to seek medical help immediately without any delay.

What are the risk factors to look for?

• It is recommended to keep away or be cautious in areas that are known to have dengue outbreaks, particularly if no mosquito control measures are taken by the local municipality

• Once a person is affected with dengue virus, the second infection can be highly severe. So, once an individual is affected, he/she will be at higher risk.

Tests and diagnosis:

Dengue fever can be diagnosed with the help of blood test. But, diagnosis should be carefully done as the symptoms of this fever are similar to that of the symptoms of other fevers like typhoid and malaria. When seeking medical help, it is better to inform the doctor about any trips to dengue prone areas or contact with mosquito, so that treatment can be immediately started until the doctor will have to wait for the test reports to come, so that the spreading of the virus can be kept under control as immediately as possible.

How about treatment?

When talking about dengue fever treatment, there is actually no vaccine. But, the doctor will prescribe pain relievers to relieve body pain. However, it is better not to take medicines like aspirin on own as they can worsen the bleeding, if an individual is affected with this virus. If the fever is high and the symptoms are severe, the doctor might recommend stay in hospital for electrolyte replacement and for intravenous fluids. Even, monitoring blood pressure and a blood transfusion might be needed to replace blood loss. 

In the case of patients with severe symptoms, plasma and platelet transfusion will become important and reports state that most Dengue Delhi loses is due to inadequate supplies from blood banks, which is actually a poor thing. 

Blood donation can help:

Healthy people are recommended to donate blood in reliable blood banks, where the blood will be stored separately as plasma, platelets and red blood cells. So, a single blood donation can save up to three lives. As the human body can easily reproduce the volume withdrawn, blood donation is highly recommended. 

Prevention is better than cure:

As there are no specific vaccines to stay against the dengue mosquito, it is better to keep the environment clean to prevent mosquito growth and this disease. Here is the list of preventive measures to take against the disease:

• It is better to keep away from dengue prone areas. As dengue in Delhi is on the news, it is better to avoid areas in which people are already affected.

• Mosquito repellents should be used in houses

• When traveling outside, it is better to cover the body completely to prevent mosquito bites.

• The dengue mosquito generally bites during day times and so high care should be taken

• It is better to use mosquito nets in rooms where air conditioners are not available.

• It is better to drain the water coolers completely and water stagnation in and around communities should be avoided wherever possible.

• Also, it is better to call up the local authorities to spray mosquito killing medicines in common areas.

• It is also important to report to the local authorities about any puddles or pits found in roads. The reason is that water stagnation in these areas can cause growth of mosquito population.

• The dengue mosquito is generally known to spread and lay eggs in clean waters. So, water filters and purifiers should be kept closed to prevent entry of mosquitoes.

• Good nutritious foods that can enhance the natural immunity of the body should be taken to prevent virus attacks as personal measures to prevent dengue.

In short, preventive measures are the only option available to fight against dengue virus. Keeping the surroundings clean, maintaining personal hygiene and improving the immune system health are some important measures to be taken to fight against these demons.

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