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Dengue

Extra Corporeal Membranous Oxygenation (ECMO)

Monsoons are a harbinger of hope and happiness with first splash of water bringing in cool breeze in blissful weather. But, this period is also marked by rise and spread of vector borne diseases, which can be life-threatening, if not diagnosed and treated with care and caution. One such disease which creates havoc and consumes lives of people is Dengue. It has seen an upsurge at an alarming rate, with a plethora of dengue cases being reported at hospitals.

Dengue is one of the most common diseases to plague people from tropical areas. It is caused by four strain of viruses spread by mosquitos of the genus Aedes. If a person infected with dengue is bitten by an Aedes female mosquito, it can become the carrier of virus and transmit it to another person. The dengue mosquito bites in daylight which develops symptoms in the person after 3-14 days of the infective bite. It can affect anyone but tends to be more severe in people with compromised immune systems. There is a common misconception that dengue mosquitos breed in murky and stagnant water. On the contrary, they also breed in water clean enough to drink.

Symptoms of a mosquito bite occur shortly after being bitten. They can range from being benign to extremely severe. Some of the common symptoms include sudden high fever, severe headaches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, skin rashes and mild bleeding. Dengue is often called break bone fever, owing to severe bone and muscle pain it afflicts. It causes the platelet count and blood pressure to fall, much to the foes of the infected person.

Symptoms can start anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito, and typically last for 2 to 7 days. The signs and symptoms of dengue fever are similar to some other diseases, such as typhoid fever and malaria, which sometimes delays the process of accurate diagnosis. Post assessment of symptoms and travel history to tropical and sub-tropical areas, doctors may order some blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.

There is no specific medicine till date to treat dengue infection but it is advised to see a doctor as and when a person develops any warning signs. Ample amount of rest, coupled by consumption of fluids to remain hydrated will be of some help. As it is rightly stated that prevention is better than cure, we should always remain cautious of our surroundings and ensure avoidance of mosquito bites. We can tackle dengue from our end by incorporating small changes in our lifestyles and abiding by few precautionary measures. Some of them include:

  • Avoid visiting areas which are breeding houses of mosquitoes
  • Avoid water stagnation in vases , buckets and clear still water in coolers
  • Apply mosquito – repellent creams on exposed parts of the body
  • Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets.
  • When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.

Dengue is certainly a cause of concern in growing urban areas. It is easily combatable by our collective efforts in educating people and creating awareness among them about the phenomenon. Let us all enjoy the monsoon season by shedding away fears surrounding Dengue and indulge in some impish fun with a tinge of nostalgia.

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