Dengue refers to a tropical disease caused by four different types of virus. It is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and the common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains and skin rash. The viruses of this disease generally last for around 10 days. The areas most affected by dengue include the tropical and subtropical regions: India And other parts of South East Asia, China, Africa, Taiwan and Mexico among others.
Currently, there is no vaccine to guard you against dengue and the only way to prevent this disease is protecting yourself against mosquito bites. So, you have to rely on mosquito repellents, mosquito nets, net screen on your doors and windows, and clothes that cover you well. Also, don’t allow water to accumulate and stagnate in and around your house and keep your bin boxes well covered. Both can be the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
The standard line of treatment for mild cases of this mosquito-borne fever includes painkillers like paracetamol. Another important aspect of dengue control is taking care of dehydration. So, drinking plenty of clean water is necessary. However, patients with severe symptoms may need hospitalisation. The patient may need Intravenous fluid or electrolyte supplementation, constant blood pressure monitoring and even blood transfusion.
Dr Amitabh Parti, additional director, internal medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Delhi sheds light on dengue — causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Dengue refers to a tropical disease caused by four different types of virus. It is usually transmitted by an Aedes mosquito that is infected with a dengue virus. Here are some of the common risk factors of dengue you need to be aware of --
Here are 33 FAQs (frequently asked questions) about dengue answered.
- Living in a dengue-prone area
- Been infected before
- Low immunity
- Low platelet count
Characterized by severe flu-like symptoms, dengue affects infants, children and adults alike and could be fatal. The clinical manifestations of dengue vary with the age of the patient. A person suffering from high fever in the range of 40°C/ 104°F, accompanied by any two of the following symptoms could be suffering from dengue:
Here is a detailed information on symptoms of dengue.
Diagnosis of dengue is usually done based on patient’s symptoms and physical examination, especially in endemic areas. A probable diagnosis is made on the findings of fever with the following symptoms: nausea and vomiting, rash and generalized pain. Here is why timely and accurate diagnosis of dengue is the need of the hour.
The common tests used in dengue diagnosis are:
Read in detail about Dengue fever diagnosis — factors, tests and cost
Because dengue fever is a viral infection, there is no specific treatment for the condition. The patient should seek medical advice and drink plenty of fluids. Here are some expert-recommended diet tips to fight dengue.
Symptomatic relief can be sought using NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Paracetamol. But drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen should not be taken since they can increase the risk of bleeding. Did you know that antibody to neutralise dengue virus was found?
For severe dengue, medical care by experienced physicians can frequently save lives. It is important to maintain the fluid volume of the patient for recuperation of the patient. Also, a patient can suffer from dengue for a second time if the viral strain is different from the initial infection. Moreover, the second infection can be more serious than the period one. Read more about treatment of dengue fever.
Dengue vaccine: Dengue vaccine is already in phase 5 clinical trials on humans. The vaccine called Dengvaxia is due for launch next year, if statistical evidence of immunity is satisfactory .
Can a patient have dengue for a second time- yes if the viral strain is different from the initial infection but the second infection seems to take a more serious course
Dengue fever is a serious condition that needs adequate medical attention. The onset of shock in dengue can be dramatic, and its progression relentless. Read can genetically modified mosquitoes fight dengue?
Here is what can happen to you if dengue fever progresses to dengue shock syndrome:
Severe pain in the abdomen
Fluid accumulation in the liver
Fluid accumulation in the chest
Read in detail about 7 complications of dengue that you ought to know
Dengue is a communicable diseases spread by mosquitoes from one human to another. So, the only way it can really be prevented is by avoiding mosquito bites. Other measures that can be employed to prevent dengue include -
One can make sure all egg-laying habitats of mosquitoes like open and stagnant water source are cleaned up. Are you aware of these innovative ways to keep your home mosquito free?
If there are any open water sources you cannot eliminate, cover them and apply appropriate insecticides.
Use protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, and insecticide-treated materials, coils and vaporizers.
Here is a 10 step guide for speedy recovery from dengue.
The content has been verified by Dr Amitabh Parti, additional director, internal medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Delhi.