India being a tropical country starting from the month of June experiences the onset of rains. This is further increased to varying levels in different parts of the country till August & sometimes September. Rains though bring down the high summery temperatures but the number of mosquitoes is bound to increase. This is also why there is a rise in the number of Malaria and Dengue occurrence cases heard.
For malaria already there is a lot of awareness among the common people but when it comes to Dengue there is a lot of misconception about this ailment. So in this article, we will be discussing all you wanted to know about Dengue fever in India like its symptoms, prevention & cure.
According to W.H.O., in 2015, Delhi, India, recorded its worst outbreak since 2006 with over 15 000 cases. As per some reports, the instances of Dengue has increased in India in last decade.
What Causes Dengue?
Dengue fever, like Malaria, is a vector-borne viral infection. Here the vector is generally Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito as it is commonly called) in the urban areas. The same mosquito also is a vector for other viruses which cause Chikungunya, Zika fever and more. While Ae. albopictus is also found as a vector in few areas of southern and eastern parts of India. The bite of Dengue virus-carrying Aedes mosquito causes Dengue fever in Human beings. There are different types of Dengue fever read more about it here. Though a vaccine has been developed, as per National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI. ) till 2017 it was not approved by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Dengue Fever Symptoms:
Dengue symptoms in adults generally start appearing after 4 to 7 days of the mosquito bite. The symptoms can prolong for 3 to 10 days. With each passing day, the condition of patient constantly deteriorates without a proper medical attention. So the earlier it gets detected the patient can also cure fast.
Dengue fever starts from a mild flu-like fever and body ache and then in some cases can worsen to DHF that is Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). The latter two conditions can be potentially life-threatening.
Symptoms of Mild Dengue Fever are a severe headache, high fever, muscle & joint pain, reappearing body rash, pain in eyes etc.
While in DHF, weak pulse, bleeding from the mouth, gums, or nose, internal bleeding, possibly leading to black vomit and faeces, decreasing number of blood platelets and more happens.
Dengue Shock Syndrome comes as a shock to the body of the patient. So apart from the symptoms persisting in Mild Dengue Fever, the patient feels disoriented, falling blood pressure, heavy bleeding, regular stomach pain and vomiting.
Some Myths About Dengue Fever:
- Dengue fever is quite similar to Malaria. No, it is not. So proper treatment is required at an earliest for the former.
- Dengue does not occur in Urban areas: In fact, it can happen anywhere cause the Aedes mosquito can even hide in pots and near plants, washroom cisterns etc.
- Dengue does not occur in the dry season: Aedes mosquito can survive in 16 degrees and above temperatures. So they can well survive and exist in dry seasons as well and spread the disease.
- Papaya Juice is a cure for Dengue: Papaya juice is helpful in increasing the blood platelet count only. For the cure, proper medical consultation and monitoring are advised.
Prevention from Dengue Fever in India:
Since the Dengue fever is a vector-borne disease the situation can be handled by controlling the number of mosquitoes near the home, gardens and public areas.
- Aedes mosquito breeds in clean water accumulated at a place so the best solution is to remove any unnecessary items in the living place that can collect fresh water especially in the washroom, near the AC vents, Planters etc.
- Fumigation and use of proper insecticides for large water bodies like water tanks etc.
- For personal protection from mosquito bites, mash doors and windows can be installed in the home, wearing of body covering clothes especially at places where the mosquito bites are common like in garden areas. Use of mosquito repellent roll-ons and indoor repellents like Goodknight that is available in the market, effective & easy to use both for children and adults.
- For people who show the signs and symptoms of dengue, medical treatment should be provided as soon as possible. Also, hydration needs to be taken care of the patient.
- Self-treatment should be strictly avoided in case of Dengue fever.