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Dengue Fever: All You Need to Know About - National Dengue Day 2021

Dengue fever, commonly known as ‘Breakbone fever’ is a vector-borne disease, transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is important to understand that this infection cannot be spread from person-to-person. Dengue is a tropical disease that originates from four different viruses. 

Depending upon the infection, a person may experience some mild fever for a few days, along with common flu-like symptoms. However, the concern rises when dengue fever changes its course, showing atypical signs leading to potentially fatal conditions, such as shock syndrome or haemorrhagic fever.

According to experts, if you are returning from a region where the disease is prevalent, then consult your doctor immediately and get yourself checked even before the symptoms begin to show. Earlier, the risk of vector-borne diseases was prevalent during a few seasons but now such illnesses thrive throughout the year due to fluctuating weather conditions. In such a scenario, it is essential to learn about the right measures and take preventive steps to check mosquito breeding.

Read on to know more about Dengue fever, its symptoms, prevention, and treatment.

Dengue Symptoms

Unlike other viral infections, dengue fever has different symptoms, depending on the stage. Initially, a person might get high fever within 4-7 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito, says Infectious Diseases specialist at AMRI Hospitals.

Some common symptoms that come along with Dengue fever are:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red rashes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Extreme dehydration

Usually, a person may suffer from fever for 3-4 days, along with some mild symptoms. In children, skin rashes come as the prominent sign indicating dengue, whereas other symptoms may remain controlled.

In rare cases, dengue fever changes into a life-threatening illness. A person may undergo unusual symptoms, such as bleeding of the nose, gums, or under the skin (due to damaged blood vessels), which develop into Dengue Haemorrhagic fever. In such situations, immediate hospitalization is required as it can be fatal. 

Dengue Prevention

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, goes the old saying. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue fever. One needs to opt for different ways to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases, which include:

  • Wear clothes that cover well (full-sleeved shirts & long pants)
  • Consider using mosquito netting and repellents
  • Close windows and doors in the daytime
  • Use covered water containers in the house
  • Keep surroundings clean and sanitized
  • Don’t fill excessive water on plant pots
  • Keep a check on clogged gutters and poor drainage
  • Avoid standing near areas with stagnant water

Dengue Treatment

For treating ‘dengue fever’ the patient requires precise medical care. You cannot treat dengue fever with antiviral or antibacterial medications, without consulting your physician. As there is no specific cure for dengue, a qualified doctor can only advise on the right treatment methods, observing the severity of symptoms and infection. However, some effective methods to treat mild symptoms can be:

  • Medication: A person suffering from dengue might need common painkillers like tylenol or paracetamol to relieve body ache, and/or mild fever. Sometimes, late diagnosis can cause severe dehydration, which requires regular IV drips to regulate water level in the body
  • Proper Hydration: When suffering from dengue, our body is prone to dehydration as most of the body fluids are lost due to vomiting and high fever. According to doctors, continuous intake of fluids in the form of lukewarm water, juices, and coconut water, are a must to ensure proper hydration in the body
  • Hygiene: In any kind of infection, hygiene is an important factor in faster recovery. Similarly, for dengue patients, it is essential to have clean and hygienic surroundings. Also, it is advisable to take a sponge bath, if not a regular bath, even whiel having fever. You can add liquid disinfectant in warm water for bath and washing clothes

About National Dengue Day 2021

In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has marked 16th May as National Dengue Day to create awareness about dengue. Every year, thousands of people get infected, especially during and after the monsoon, when breeding of Aedes mosquitoes rise exponentially, especially in congested areas. This year, it becomes even more significant with the country already battling Coronavirus.

The initial symptoms of both COVID-19 and dengue are quite similar, including high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and body ache. In these challenging times, people need to be well aware of both the diseases and they need to understand the importance of a right diagnosis, suggested by doctors and seek the right treatment at the right time.