Dengue fever aka breakbone fever is a mosquito-borne disease that causes a severe flu-like illness. One report shows around 400 million dengue infections take place each year and 96 million of them result in serious illness. It mostly occurs in tropical areas like the Indian subcontinent, Taiwan, The Pacific Islands, Southern China, Africa, Mexico, and South America.
Let’s discuss all about Dengue fever starting from symptoms, to treatment. Also, we’ll be discussing how you can protect yourself in the safest way possible.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Signs and symptoms of Dengue fever vary as per the complexity of the disease.
Mild Dengue Fever
Mild dengue fever remains up to seven days after being bitten by the infected mosquito. Some common symptoms include aching muscles, body rashes, high fever, vomiting, feeling nauseous and intense headache.
These symptoms can disappear in a week and the chances of being serious or fatal are rare.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
At the initial stage, signs of DHF could be mild and it gradually worsens with time. A person with DHF may experience internal bleeding, a sensitive stomach, weak pulse, damage to blood vessels, and clammy skin. Without treatment, dengue hemorrhagic fever can be fatal.
Also Read: Tips To Protect Your Family From Zika Virus
Dengue Shock Syndrome
This is a serious form of dengue and it is fatal. Common symptoms of it include sudden hypotension, disorientation, intense stomach pain, heavy bleeding, regular vomiting, and leaking fluid from blood vessels. The result could be deadly if not treated properly.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose dengue infection, doctors perform a blood test to identify the traces of antibodies or viruses. Along with this, some other tests are conducted like serological tests and virological tests.
As dengue is a virus, it doesn’t have any specific treatment. However, the milder form of dengue can be treated. For milder forms, consider a treatment like following:
Prevent Dehydration: Vomiting and high fever can dehydrate your body. Hence, it is advised to drink clean water. One must avoid tap water. You can also consider rehydration salts to replace minerals and fluids.
Painkillers: Painkillers like paracetamol or Tylenol can ease pain and lower dengue fever. Avoid taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or aspirin as they cause internal bleeding.
A severe form of dengue may require intravenous fluid supplements. In some cases, hospitalization becomes the only option left if medications don’t work.
How To Prevent Your Family From Dengue?
Vaccination can’t protect you against dengue fever. The only way to protect yourself is by following the given below tips-
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a hat, socks, and shoes to reduce the exposure of skin. This minimizes the chances of being bitten by infected mosquitoes.
Make use of a repellent that has 10% of diethyltoluamide (DEET) concentration. But avoid using the repellent on kids or young children.
Mosquito nets and traps
Insecticide Nets are the most effective way of staying away from infected mosquitoes. Insecticide can kill insects and mosquitoes.
Window and Door screens
Structural barriers also help in protecting your family from dengue. Window and door screens keep infected mosquitoes away from reaching you.
Stagnant or motionless water breeds Aedes mosquitoes. Hence, to reduce the risk of dengue fever, keep stagnant water in check and clean it if you find any. Follow some tips-
Remove excessive water from pot plates
Turn watering cans and buckets over to avoid accumulating water
Scrub containers regularly to remove mosquito eggs
Make use of non-perforated gully traps
Loosen soil from pot plants to prevent puddles
Stay away from places where the chances of mosquito breeding are high. For example, cans, old tires, flowerpots that can hold rainwater. Don’t forget to regularly change pet’s water dishes and outdoor birdbaths.