Dengue Fever as we all know spread from bite of an infected Mosquito. It has 4 serotypes. It can cause very severe life threatening illness; however most cases are milder in nature.
Huge number of cases has been reported worldwide (50-100 million cases every year worldwide).
Dengue virus is transmitted by Aedea Mosquito. It bites during day time only. Outbreaks can occur at anytime, however rainy season with high humidity increases changes of transmission.
Occurs after 4-10 days of mosquito bite and symptoms can last from 2 to 7 days usually.
High grade Fever associated with atleast 2 of the below mentioned features should raise suspicion of Dengue Fever:
- Body ache. esp pain behind eyes
- Joint Pain, bone pain, Muscular pains
- Nausea, vomiting
- Rashes (usually extensive red colored all over body)
Most crucial Phase of Dengue illness occurs once fever subsides; i.e. at deffervescence of Fever as most of the complications arises at this time. At this time platelet counts start decreasing along with rise in Hematocrit values. 3rd space losing occurs, so it is very important to prevent dehydration and let your child have PLENTY OF FLUIDS.
Severe Cases (also called dengue hemorrhagic fever):
Special attention needs to be given to these warning signs as it could lead to severe dengue:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Persistent vomiting
- Bleeding from any site eg gums, blood in vomiting etc
- Rapid breathing
- Fatigue/ restlessness
- Altered sensorium
- At present no vaccine is available.
- No specific medication for dengue fever.
- Mainstay of treatment is supportive
- Patients should seek medical advice, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Paracetamol (Crocin) is the drug of choice for Fever. Other medications like aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided as it increases the risk of bleeding.
- Vital Monitoring along with blood test to have a look at Hematocrit along with platelet count.
- Platelet transfusion in some cases
Infection with one strain will provide life-time protection only against that particular strain. However, it is still possible to become infected by other strains and develop into severe dengue. Usually re-infection cases are severe.
With proper medical care and early recognition, case-fatality rates are below 1%.
What should be done by Patients and Relatives?
- If you suspect you have dengue you first need to avoid panic and consult a doctor soon.
- Drink plenty of fluids, watch for urine output & watch for bleeding from any site.
- For diagnosis, your doctor will
- Evaluate your signs and symptoms
- Test your blood for evidence of a dengue virus using NS1 Antigen or serology test (IgG& IgM).
How Dengue is spread:
- Bite from infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
- Day time biting by this mosquito (esp early morning & evening)
- Does not spread by contact
Mosquitoes breading Ground:
- Clear water in nearby areas esp water filled containers etc.
- Rest Indoors in dark areas like closet, under beds, behind curtain etc.
- Source reduction: eliminate mosquitoe’s egg laying sites. Examples of the following habitats are listed:
- Indoor, Ant traps, Flower vases and saucers
- Water storage tank (domestic drinking water, bathroom, etc…)
- Plastic containers, Bottles, Outdoor, Discarded bottles and tins
- Discarded tyres, Artificial containers, Tree holes, potholes, construction sites, Drums for collecting rainwater
- Shells, husks, pods from trees, Leaf axils of various plants
- Community participation is the key to dengue prevention. As every household aims to reduce vector density, the transmission rate will decrease or maybe even stop.
- Protecting yourself from mosquito bites: It can be done by using
- Long-sleeved clothing and mosquito repellents are the most viable options.
- Window and door screens, air conditioning reduces the risk of mosquitoes coming into contact with the household members.
- Mosquito nets (and/or insecticide-treated nets) will also provide additional protection to people sleeping during the day, or protect against other mosquitoes which can bite at night (such as malaria).
- Household insecticides aerosols, mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers maybe also reduce biting activity.
Feel free to contact your doctor for detail or contact us at MAYA CLINIC.
Dr Rahul Varma