Understanding Dengue :
Dengue!! The name itself scares us to death. Is this fear justified? Unfortunately to some extent yes. It manifests as simple fever but progress to hemorrhagic fever with shock which maybe lethal if not treated on time. The disease is transmitted by bite of Aedes mosquito and is caused by an Arbovirus. Usually viral infection causes lifelong immunity to the host, but this virus has four subtypes plus subsequent infections only worsen the risk of complication. This is of importance to us as India being an endemic nation people is prone to repeated attacks.
Dengue Symptoms :
The symptom includes fever, bodyache, and skin rash. The body ache is severe and hence it is called break bone fever. There are three manifestation Classical dengue, Hemorrhagic fever without shock and Hemorrhagic fever with shock. Only the last form is lethal as it causes low platelet levels resulting in bleeding and decreased blood pressure. The treatment of dengue is supportive. It includes fluids, either oral or intravenous, and Paracetamol. In case of shock blood transfusion is required. If the patient has any concomitant illness it can cause complications and death.
Dengue Transmission :
The transmission cycle is man-mosquito-man; hence it is cardinal that patients are kept under mosquito net unless fever is controlled. Since we are yet to have a vaccine to prevent dengue or a medicine that is directed at the virus it is imperative that we take measures to control the disease. Every individual must take steps to protect himself, the family members and the community members. Simple measures like emptying water from stagnant cans and coolers will curtail the breeding sites of mosquito. For personal protection one must wear long pants and sleeves. Use of mosquito repellants, sprays and ointments is also helpful. One important fact to note regarding dengue is that mosquito bites during day, especially at dawn and dusk, hence avoiding outdoors during these hours is a simple protective measure.
Every fever is not dengue and every dengue patient will not die, but still fever with severe body ache and rash has to be investigated by a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. We recently lost the ‘The King of romance’ Mr. Yash Chopra to dengue. Probably we can show some love to our loved ones by sharing information about dengue.
So protect yourself and the community from Dengue and enjoy these winters to the fullest…. Happy Winters…!!! 🙂
Article by :
Dr. Simmy Roy Mishra
(Department of Community Medicine – Geetanjali Medical College & Hospital)