For the past few years, Dengue deaths and cases have been taking up headlines since the numbers are constantly going up. According to WHO (World Health Organization), there have been a whopping 390 million Dengue sufferers worldwide, out of which 96 million require medical attention. To make matters even more worrying, the number of Dengue cases have doubled from 2014 to 2015! Delhi is the worst with over 1800 cases, making prevention drives all the more pivotal for the nation’s health. Although, Dengue trends have shown severe outbreaks every alternate year, 2016 may be the worst ever.
What is Dengue?
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that is viral in nature. The illness is acute, caused by one of the many types of mosquitoes in the genus Aedes Aegypti.
Early signs include the following:
1. High Fever
2. Joint Pains
5. Appetite Loss
7. Dip in Blood Pressure
8. Characteristic Skin Rash
If one’s fever lasts for more than a week, the individual will face severe low blood pressure, a drop in the level of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage. Intense sweating and rashes on palms of the hands and soles of the feet which may be swollen as well as bright red can occur.
The rare case when Dengue develops into a life threatening disease is referred to as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome. The former is characterized by Haemorrhage (severe bleeding), blood plasma leakage, and an exceptionally low platelet count. While, the latter occurs due to dangerously low blood pressure, which may lead to a circulatory collapse (shock).
How to Prevent Dengue?
Although, anybody can contract Dengue, individuals with low immunity are the most prone in urban areas, especially heavily polluted areas. Proper waste disposal and keeping a check on water stagnancy are pivotal for the nation’s wellbeing. The worst hit age group are school children and college students, wearing full sleeves during the rainy season can help matters dramatically.
– The virus is mostly active in the early morning and late afternoon.
– Tropical and sub-tropical areas are more prone to Dengue outbreaks. People travelling from and across such regions can also carry the virus.
– Mosquito repellents are essential and always read the label carefully before applying.
– Avoid wearing dark and tight clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours. Wear loose, white and long clothes, which cover the whole body. Mosquitoes find it difficult to bite through loose clothes than tight fitting clothes.
– Stay aware of your surroundings, areas which are known for stagnant water should be reported and extra precaution must be taken.
“Any fever during the rainy season, be it acute or otherwise, should be considered Dengue. Proper tests should be run to check the infection because any delay in doing so can prove fatal.“
How to know if you have Dengue?
Diagnosis of Dengue isn’t difficult. A blood test for the disease against the virus can tell whether the person is affected or not.
“But what remains a concern is that more often than not; people can brush aside the symptoms of Dengue as a less dangerous viral fever. So even if you have a speck of doubt, do not delay to go for the test.”
How to Treat Dengue?
An early detection and a proper medication are considered positive factors and help in lowering fatality rate of the disease. See a doctor, take the prescribed medication which are mostly pain relievers, rest and drink maximum fluids.