Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Dengue Cases on theRise


Dengue, also known as break bone fever, is a mosquito-borne infection which is characterized by an abrupt onset of severe headache, muscle, joint pains, fever and rash. This flu-like illness occurs in warm and wet areas of the world, especially in the rainy season, and is caused by a group of virus which belongs to the genus flavivirus. These viruses are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female aedes mosquitoes, a domestic, day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans.
• Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in any storage containers having even a small quantity of water.
• It doesn’t fly high
• It’s an office time mosquito and bites during the day time.
• It generally bites on the lower elbow and lower knee areas.
• Eggs of aedes aegypti can live without water for more then one year.
Dengue fever mainly affects infants, young children and adults and its symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite. If not controlled it might turn into lethal dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes internal bleeding – from your nose, gums or under your skin. It can also become dengue shock syndrome, which causes massive bleeding and shock. These forms of dengue are life-threatening.
Warning signs
• Sudden chills and rise in the temperature
• Acute headache
• Pain behind the eyes (retro-orbital pain) which worsens with eye movement
• Muscle and joint pains
• Low backache
• Loss of appetite
• Measles-like rash over chest and upper limbs
• Nausea and vomiting
• Minor haemorrhagic manifestations like bleeding from nose or gums may occur.
Prevention is the only treatment

There is no specific treatment to prevent dengue. Best way is to keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and control the spread of mosquitoes. Avoid taking antibiotics. Incase of high fever and acute body ache, paracetamol can be taken.
Prevent dengue by avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites:
• Wear mosquito repellents creams and oils on the skin. Use coils, mats,etc.
• Wear full sleeve shirts and long pants with socks when going out.
• Avoid crowded residential areas.
• When indoors, stay in air-conditioned or screened areas.
• Use bed net during day time, if sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned.
• Ensure that there are no stagnating water bodies around the living areas and the surroundings are kept clean.
• Remove water from coolers and other containers like drums, buckets, tyres, etc, at least once in a week
With early diagnosis and proper symptomatic treatment Dengue can be stopped from becoming an endemic.
With inputs from- Dr.Mukesh Mehra
Consultant Internal Medicine, Max Hospital

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Category: Monsoon
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