At a time when we seem to hear only about COVID 19, it is easy to forget about other diseases that have had and will continue to have, far more impact on the human population. Unfortunately, those diseases, such as dengue, are not going to just go away for our own convenience. Unfortunately, dengue has continued to be in the news and its implications have been felt in other parts of the world. So, let’s talk about dengue and how to prevent it.
“You’ll have to pay the price if you do not keep your environment bright”
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is a viral infection that is carried by a mosquito named Aedes. This is a disease can be caused by any one of the four related dengue viruses. Dengue is also known as break-bone fever because it affects the muscles and bones of the patient severely, causing pain that is felt like the breaking of bones. This disease affects people in many countries across the world, especially in Asia, China, Africa, and Central America.
What Causes Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is caused by one of the four viruses,
Methods of Disease Transmission:
It is transmitted from one person to another by the bites of Aedes mosquitos that generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. The mosquito then can transmit the virus while biting a healthy person and feeding on his blood. Patients who are already infected with the dengue virus can transmit the infection via the mosquitoes after the first symptoms appear during 4-5 days (up to 7 days).
Let’s know about Aedes Mosquito:
- It is a dark-colored mosquito with white markings on its legs and white dots on its body.
- The mosquito is not the main cause of the disease but is just a vector for transmitting the virus from one person to another.
- Within the mosquito, the virus infects the mosquito mid-gut and subsequently spreads to the salivary glands over an incubation period of 8-12 days, and then can transmit the disease for the rest of its life.
- The peak periods for mosquito bites are early morning and before sunset.
- Every time a female mosquito needs food, it will bite several people.
Symptoms begin to appear 4-10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito.
Symptoms of Dengue:
The symptoms that a person shows depend on the age of the person. However, usually, the symptoms start with a high fever within 4-7 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito. The common symptoms of classic dengue include:
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- High fever up to 105 F
- Pain behind the eyes
- Severe headaches
- The entire body gets covered in red rashes
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
In some cases, the disease may be mild, and these symptoms may not show up in a patient at all.
When young children are infected with dengue, they often have a fever with rashes, whereas other symptoms may be minor. These symptoms may also occur due to other issues. If you have been to a place that has been affected by dengue, you should consult with a doctor at the earliest.
Dengue fever can sometimes also develop into a potentially fatal illness. The symptoms of dengue haemorrhagic fever include all the symptoms of classic dengue as well as the bleeding of the nose, gums, or under the skin, which is an outcome of damaged blood vessels. This form of the disease should not be neglected as it can be fatal.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, so prevention is the most important step to be followed, and when you develop the disease the following are recommended:
- Get some rest.
- Fluid intake.
- Take painkillers.
- Avoid blood thinners such as Aspirin.
- Avoid mosquito bites, to prevent the spread of the disease.
For severe dengue, medical care and replacement of lost fluids will help to prevent the progression of the disease and maintain the patient’s life.
“Let’s create a Dengue free future”
The most ideal way of keeping away from dengue is to effectively find ways to keep away from mosquito bites. This includes wearing light-shaded clothes that are loose and cover a maximum part of your body. Another fact is that the Aedes mosquito bites during the daytime and the late evenings before it gets dark.
Prevention of dengue fever is highly dependent on combatting the Aedes mosquito which is a vector for transmitting the disease. The best way of prevention is to avoid mosquito bites through:
- Disposal of mosquito breeding places such as water basins whether inside or outside the home.
- Covering, emptying, and cleaning all domestic water tanks and basins weekly, including the water of vases.
- Applying insect repellent cream inside and outside the house.
- Wearing long-sleeved clothing.
- Ensuring that window screens have no holes that allow insects to enter.
- Applying insecticides during outbreaks.
To prevent the spread of the virus from the infected person to the mosquito and then to other people, patients who are already infected with the dengue virus should be protected against the mosquito. If a member of family has dengue fever, more precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of the infection. He should sleep in a mosquito net and apply mosquito repellent cream.
In human recovery from infection, one dengue virus provides lifelong immunity against that particular virus serotype. However, this immunity confers only partial and transient protection against subsequent infection by the other three serotypes of the virus. Evidence points to the fact that sequential infection increases the risk of developing severe dengue.