What you need to know about Dengue Fever?

As monsoon has arrived, one needs to be extra careful about one's health as immune system becomes weak during this season. Monsoon brings with it potholes and puddles of dirty water all around which is the cause of number of water borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Viral Fever etc. Today our focus of discussion is Dengue Fever. Dengue fever also known as breakbone fever; is caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. These types of mosquitoes are common in tropical and subtropical areas. Dengue can vary from mild to severe; the more severe forms include dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

What is the cause of Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is spread by tiger mosquito known as “Aedes Aegypti”, which has black and yellow stripes. Only the female mosquito transmits the dengue virus. This mosquito is a daytime biter, both inside & outside homes, and is most active in the hours after sunrise & before sunset. When a mosquito bites a person who is infected with dengue virus, mosquito becomes a carrier of virus. It can’t be spread directly from person to person, but another person can become infected if the mosquito carrying virus bites him.

What are its signs & symptoms?

Symptoms of dengue vary depending upon severities of dengue fever.

Mild Dengue Fever: In this case, symptoms may appear for up to seven days after mosquito carrying virus bites, and disappears after 1 week. It does not cause any serious or fatal complications. The symptoms of mild dengue fever are:

  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Body rash that can disappear and then reappear
  • High fever
  • Intense headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Vomiting and feeling nauseous
  • Diarrhoea

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF): In this case, symptoms are mild in beginning in beginning but if left untreated it can become life threatening. Mild dengue symptoms can occur in DHF, but some other symptoms related to it are:

  • Bleeding from your mouth/gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Clammy skin
  • Considerably damaged lymph and blood vessels
  • Internal bleeding, which can result in black vomit and feces (stools)
  • Lower number of platelets in blood - these are the cells that help clot your blood
  • Sensitive stomach
  • Small blood spots under your skin
  • Weak pulse

Dengue Shock Syndrome: This is the worst form of dengue and is life threatening and symptoms in this are:

  • Intense stomach pain
  • Disorientation
  • Sudden hypotension
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Regular vomiting
  • Blood vessels leaking fluid

How to prevent Dengue Fever?

At present there is no dengue vaccine, it is best to prevent yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. Following are few tips which help you to protect yourself:

  1. Clothing: Be sure to wear long trousers, full sleeve shirts and socks while going to area swamped with mosquitoes. It will significantly reduce your chances of being bitten.
  2. Mosquito repellents: You can apply Permethrin to clothes, shoes and bed netting. For skin, use repellent with at least 10% concentration of DEET.
  3. Use mosquito traps and nets: Studies have shown that the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is considerably reduced if you use a mosquito net when you go to sleep. It is good to use nets that are treated with insecticide instead of normal as they are more protective. The insecticide used on net not only kills mosquito, but also acts as repellent for fewer insets to enter the room.
  4. Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing: It's particularly important to keep mosquitoes out at night.
  5. Reschedule outdoor activities: Avoid being outdoors at dawn, dusk and early evening, when more mosquitoes are out.
  6. Stagnant water: Mosquito prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water. It is important to frequently check and remove stagnant water in your home/premises. Remove water from plant pot plates. To remove mosquito eggs, clean and scrub them thoroughly.
  7. Don't give mosquitoes places to breed: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so keep you surrounding clean. Do not let water stand in your surroundings like discarded tyres, broken roads etc.

It is good to follow preventive measures to protect yourself from dengue especially in monsoon/ rainy season. If you experience any symptom of dengue fever, consult an expert doctor immediately. To find the best doctor in your area visit our portal and avail discounts on consultation & treatment packages.


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