After the scorching summer upon us, monsoon season in India is looming and, with it, there is an outbreak of mosquito-borne infectious illnesses as well, such as malaria, typhoid and dengue fever. The humid climate, windy environment and heavy rains spread many infectious diseases. Though monsoon season is good yet, brings bacteria & viruses along with it.
Dengue fever is considered the world’s fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease. Here we are going to discuss how you can identify the signs caused by the dengue fever, its prevention and to stay healthy this season.
Let’s Know 7 Warning Signs
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection, also known as break-bone fever, transmitted by the bite of a mosquito named as “Aedes aegypti”. If not treated on time, can become fatal within a few hours and often requires hospital care.
There is no proper treatment for dengue, but if medical care is taken on time can reduce the chances of death rates. Though the most common time for mosquito bite is morning and late noon, but dengue-carrying mosquitoes, bite all throughout the day.
Symptoms of dengue fever develop within 4 to 7 days after the mosquito bite and lasts for up to 10 days. Mild symptoms of dengue can be confused with other sickness, that cause fever, aches and rash.
The most common symptom of dengue is fever (104 degrees F) with any of the following:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Pain, typically behind the eyes
- Muscle, joint or bone pain
- Skin Rash
Most people recover within a week or so. In few cases, symptoms become worse and fatal. Number of platelets in your blood decreases due to damage of blood vessels. This can lead to a severe form of dengue fever, known as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. It is a rare complication and more serious form of dengue and if symptoms become severe within a few hours could result in internal bleeding, shock and may even cause death.
Consult your doctor soon, if any of the following warning signs of severe dengue appear:
- Severe abdominal pain or tenderness
- Persistent vomiting with blood
- Bleeding from nose or gums
- Black, tarry or bloody stools (feces)
- Drowsiness or irritability
- Difficulty breathing
You are more likely to develop severe dengue, if you have had a dengue infection before and people with low immunity.
Defend Against Dengue
Take immediate medical help if you develop any of the symptoms of dengue or have fever. Diagnosis on time is important to minimize the risk of complications. Tell doctor about your travel and he/she may ask you to get a blood test to confirm the diagnosis and may advise you to:
- Take bed rest as much as you can
- Take acetaminophen (paracetamol), to control fever and relieve pain.
- Take plenty of fluids such as water or drinks with electrolytes to keep yourself hydrated
- Avoid taking ibuprofen or aspirin, as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
Fight the Bite Day and Night
There is no vaccine to prevent fever caused by dengue. Controlling the population of mosquitoes and limiting human exposure to them are the two important preventive measures that can be adopted. Tips given below may help to reduce your risk of mosquito bites:
- Beware of the bite and use mosquito repellents, ideally one containing DEET
- If possible, stay away from highly populated areas
- Ensure that your windows and door screens are safe, secure and without holes. Use mosquito nets, if sleeping areas are not air conditioned or screened
- Wear full-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
- When indoors, use air conditioning, if available
- Make sure there are no containers outside the house such as in a garden/balcony, where rainwater can collect. Hygienic surroundings will have less chance to breed mosquitoes.
- Eliminate standing water outside your home at least twice a week
Stop Dengue. Act Know!
It is the responsibility of every individual to educate their kids and neighbors about dengue. Not only our house and premises have to be cleaned, but also the vicinity. Take necessary precautions to ensure that there is no breeding of mosquitoes around you. If you or someone in your family is suffering from Dengue, connect with your doctor for further help.