If recent reports are to be believed, New Delhi is battling the worst Dengue fever outbreak in the last 5 years. More than 2000 cases have been recorded in the past few weeks, with the death toll mounting to 20. The statistics are alarming and can easily cause panic in any city, state or country. But what’s important is to acknowledge the fact that dengue is preventable and manageable, hence with better knowledge and understanding of its causes, symptoms and treatment, a lot can be done to control as well as cope with this epidemic
If you ask people to name a few mosquito borne illnesses, most of them would come up with one common answer and that is – Malaria. Considering its impact on the human health, there’s very little awareness about Dengue fever, especially within the rural areas of our country.
Let’s get acquainted with some of the most important facts associated with this disease:
- Dengue isn’t contagious but is certainly preventable and controllable.
- Andes aegypti mosquitoes are the carriers of dengue fever. Extremely active during the daytime, these insects carry the blood of an infected person and transmit it to another person through a bite.
- Those with a compromised immune system such as the elderly and young children pose a greater risk of contracting Dengue fever
- In addition to high body temperature, symptoms of Dengue fever include: severe pain in the muscle and joints, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rash.
- The symptoms typically show between 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Like most viral diseases, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat Dengue. Hospitalization is essential and the treatment is aimed at alleviating the symptoms.
- If a person has already been diagnosed and treated for Dengue in the past year, he/she has to be extra careful to prevent a second attack as it could be more lethal than the first time
- Surprising as it may sound, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes do not breed in stale water but use fresh water stored in flowerpot, cooler, water puddle etc. as their breeding grounds.
- Anyone can get infected with the Dengue virus. Keeping your environment clean & hygienic is the most effective way to prevent this disease. It is equally important to maintain a strong immune system with the help of a healthy diet plan
- Dengue fever impacts each part of the body’s system including the brain (encephalitis) which is why patients are advised to get sufficient rest and drink plenty of fluids during and post treatment
- Early diagnosis and management of symptoms is critical in saving the life of a Dengue patient
- Aspirin should be strictly avoided by Dengue patients as it is known to thin the blood, thereby resulting in heavy bleeding
- Dengue vaccine hasn’t been discovered so far hence the only way to effectively steer clear of this disease is by preventing mosquito bites