Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by the virus dengue. This disease is not airborne, instead it is a mosquito borne disease. This means that it is carried by the Aedes Mosquito, the female species to be more specific. Now it must be kept in mind that this mosquito usually bites during the daytime, irrespective of where a person really is, meaning that could be indoors or even outdoors, still get bitten and consequently infected with the disease. Experts suggest that the symptoms only begin to appear between three to fourteen day after being actually infected, while recovery only takes roughly about seven days.
The dengue fever is considered to be an exceedingly rare disease as it affects just about a hundred thousand cases on a yearly basis. If not tended timely this disease may prove to be extremely dangerous. This is because it may lead to severe dengue, which is commonly known as dengue haemorrhagic fever or even break bone fever. The effects of this viral infection include, excessive bleeding, decrease in level of platelets, leakage of blood plasma and in some severe cases may even cause dengue shock syndrome, which results is extremely low levels of blood pressure (dangerously low)
The dengue virus typically causes five different types of infections of which the first one leaves the affected patients with lifelong immunity to that particular type and a noticeably short lived immunity to the other types.
It was recognised as a global issue during World War II mainly in Asian and South American countries. It is believed that the infection first appeared in the year 1772. But it was not until the early 20th century, that the cause actually came to be understood.
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It is believed that the most common symptoms include, high fever, headache, rashes, pain in the muscles as well as the joints. In certain severe cases it may also cause bleeding in the mouth and the nose, pain behind the eyes and even vomiting. Additionally it also causes chills, fatigue, loss in appetite or even swollen glands.
Other severe symptoms also include excessive bleeding, in drop platelets level, leakage of blood plasma and in some severe cases may even cause dengue shock syndrome, which results in an extreme drop of blood pressure to dangerously low levels.
These signs are very similar to the exact symptoms of the infection and include the following-
Bleeding of the mouth as well as the nose
Drop in level of blood pressure
Severe pain not only in joints but in the muscle as well
Rashes all over the body.
Fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
Acute pain in the back of the eyes as well as the head
There is no specific treatment that is followed by doctors in order to treat infected patients. This does not mean that there is no treatment at all. What this means is that doctors use a combination of ways to treat it. This includes-
Medicine- A combination of painkillers such as tylenol, paracetamol and aspirin are used depending on the age in order to control not only the pain but the fever as well. Furthermore they use a combination of blood transfusions and fluid infusions in order to ensure that patients are always hydrated.
Hygiene- At the time of the infection, it is extremely important to ensure that the infected patients are safe and clean at all times. For which they are made to take either a sponge bath or a regular bath in water that is disinfected with solutions such as Dettol, Savlon etc. Furthermore their clothes must also be washed with disinfected liquid. Additionally, patients are also made to wash hands very frequently.
Limited Skin Exposure- It is believed that the Female Aedes Mosquito, that is usually responsible for the spread of the infection is mostly active in the monsoon season i.e., during the months of August to October. So, during the time, it is advised that people wear longer plants as well as tops with longer sleeves anytime they venture out especially during early mornings and late evenings.
Mosquito Repellent- Another effective preventive measure is wearing mosquito repellents such as Odomos, etc., of their skin every time they venture out especially during early mornings and late evenings. These repellents are easily available in various forms such as gels, sprays, lotions and even wrist bands for that matter.
Avoid Water Stagnation- Lastly and most importantly, people must avoid water stagnation as much as possible. In case it is necessary in situations such as water shortage, etc., it must be kept covered and in a hygienic manner to avoid creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
1. How do the Doctors Diagnose Dengue?
If a person experiences any of the dengue symptoms mentioned above, then it becomes very necessary to get necessary checks done at the hospital. This is usually done by conducting blood tests in order to check the level of not only the red blood cells but also the platelet counts. Additionally patients also have to go through a thorough physical examination to check for any other symptoms that are most likely to appear. Only then can a doctor give a confirmed diagnosis of the condition and begin the treatment.
2. Is Personal Hygiene Important for Prevention of Dengue?
Personal hygiene also has an extremely crucial role to play in the prevention of dengue. It is extremely important to keep ourselves clean in order to protect ourselves from not only the dengue virus, but any infection of any kind. This can be done by using effective liquid hand wash, sanitizers as well as surface cleaners in order to keep not only ourselves, but all other surfaces we may come in contact with clean. Moreover, while venturing outside, wearing clothes that cover the entire body is advisable.