Dengue fever: How to prevent and manage it

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Dengue fever is a viral based illness, which is transmitted in human body by the bites of infected mosquito species, Aedes Aegypti and Aedes albopictus

The symptoms of dengue are usually visible after a few days of mosquito bite. Symptoms can be mild to severe depending on the case.  

One out of every four infected Indvidual’s can feel sick1.

In severe cases it can cause hemorrhage, organ failure and even death. 

Infants, pregnant women and previously dengue infected persons are at higher risk1

Symptoms

  • High Fever  
  • Joint and muscle pain 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Bleeding 
  • Extreme drop in platelet count (In severe cases) 
  • Extremely low blood pressure (In severe cases) 

Treatment and Management

  • The treatment for dengue mostly focusses on relieving symptoms and preventing any complications.
  • On feeling the symptoms of dengue fever, it is highly recommended to consult physician.
  • Severe cases may require hospitalization and regular monitoring of complications. 
  • Taking good rest helps the body to fight against the infection. 
  • It is important to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoid dehydration. In case of vomiting ORS can be given to replenish salt loss. 
  • Eat fruits rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, like kiwi, oranges, grapes, pomegranates to support immune function and recovery. 
  • Coconut water can help in hydrating the body. 
  • Multivitamin supplements having vitamin C, selenium and antioxidants can be taken to improve immunity and general wellbeing. 
  • In case of fever and body ache, Over The Counter (OTC) medicine like paracetamol can be taken in recommended dosage.  
  • Avoid pain killers like ibuprofen, diclofenac and other NSAIDs, as they can increase the bleeding complications. 
  • Platelets transfusion is done in severe cases under strict medical supervision. 

Tips for prevention of Dengue

  • Keep your surroundings clean of any stagnated water, as it offers a breeding place for dengue spreading mosquito. 
  • Spraying of approved insecticide around the houses. 
  • Use fine wire mesh over doors and windows to prevent entry of mosquitoes in home.  
  • Keeping doors and windows as much closed as possible. 
  • Use approved mosquito repellant creams, burning coils and liquid vaporizers. 

Vaccination

Currently one vaccine Dengvaxia introduced by sanofi pasteur is registered in many endemic countries2.

Precautions and care

  • In case of continuous vomiting, seek immediate medical help. 
  • Insecticides and pesticides shall be used in home with utmost care and avoid eating and sleeping area. 
  • Burning coil shall be kept in an appropriate area and shall be monitored to avoid any fire hazard.  
  • Avoid using insect repellants on the palm and fingers of children, as they can unknowingly put their finger and hand in their mouth. 
  • Avoid inhaling fumes from mosquito repellants coils and vaporizers. 

References

  1. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/dengue
  2. Dengue – Sanofi

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