Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Everything You Need to Know about Dengue

man fighting with mosquitoThough under-reported Delhi is facing Dengue outbreak. Good monsoon, massive construction and cyclic nature of the disease are the main reasons for the increase in dengue cases.

What You Know

o Dengue is a viral infection and it needs a vector to spread it, which are mosquitoes.
o This mosquito borne disease happens with daytime biting of mosquitoes.
o Mosquitoes breed in human made containers having clean water.
o There is no direct human- to-human transmission of this infection.
o Dengue can happen all round the year. It mainly happens in rainy season because mosquito breeding increases in this weather.

What You Don’t

o It is possible that pregnant women can pass this virus to their unborn babies. Technically speaking a mother’s placenta does not filter the dengue virus from crossing over to the foetus.

o Similarly, technically it’s possible for dengue to be transmitted through blood transfusions. In October 2003 two cases had happened in Singapore where two patients died of multi-organ failure as they received dengue-infected kidneys.

o Papaya juice: Though it is true that papaya juice increases the platelet count, whereas dengue significantly reduces the platelet count, still there is no proven effect for the same.

o A dengue patient is admitted at the hospital for treatment when his blood platelet count drops to 80,000 and below which puts them in danger of haemorrhaging. The platelet count tends to drop when the patient’s fever starts to subside. A normal person’s average count ranges from 150, 000 to 450, 000.

o However, as long as the blood platelet count is above the critical number, it is okay for patients to remain at home.

Symptoms

Once you get bitten by infected Aedes mosquito, it takes around seven days for symptoms of dengue to develop.
o High fever (3-7 days)
o Intense headache
o Painful joints and muscles
o Pain behind eyes
o As fever subsides tiny blood capillaries under patient’s skin leak blood. They appear as little red dots on the arms and legs.

Rush to hospital if you see any of these—

o Blood spots under the skin
o Bleeding from gums.
o Nose bleeding
o Vomiting blood
o Restlessness—a sign of drop in blood pressure
o A sudden drop in temperature

Duck Dengue

o Clean old tyres
o Dispose, cover, or fill with earth water storage (tanks, drums, jars, overhead tanks, coolers).
o Use rustproof mesh or screen to keep out mosquitoes.
o Clean up, bury or burn tins, bottles, coconut shells, garbage, anything that collects water.
o Dry anything around that can store water, like—cooler, flowerpots, animal water dish, ant traps, etc.
o Empty water every week, both indoors and outdoors.

Personal Prevention

o Use mosquito repellant, coils or vapour mats when outdoors, even during daytime.
o Get screen fixed on doors and windows.
o People napping during the day should sleep under mosquito net
o None of these are effective by themselves alone, use a combination of different methods.

Treatment
o There is no specific treatment available for dengue fever. For treating dengue use pain relief medications, like paracetamol.
o Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen.
o Drink a whole lot of fluids.
o Take a lot of rest.

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