Decoding Dengue: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention
With dengue cases overgrowing, it is of utmost importance to understand the disease, its causes and early signs and symptoms.
What’s the Deal?
Also known as black fever, dengue fever is a disease caused by the Aedes mosquito. Often occurring in subtropical, and tropical regions of the world, dengue fever symptoms are revealed with the onset of extremely high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, and several other flu-like symptoms. While this might be a mild type, severe dengue fever could lead to serious bleeding, fatal lows in blood pressure resulting in shock, death, etc.
Causes of Dengue
Dengue fever traces its cause to one of the four variants of dengue viruses. In fact, while it is a common myth that dengue is transferrable, it is actually not and is spread only through mosquito bites. How does the transmission happen? Well, a mosquito acquires the virus when it bites an already infected person. When it bites another person, the virus gets transmitted through the person’s bloodstream, being a major cause of dengue spread.
Hence, dengue fever never spreads directly from one person to another.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
Several people experience almost no symptoms or signs of dengue fever. When the symptoms reflect, they are often mistaken for flu or seasonal viral. Symptoms of the illness occur mostly between four (4) to ten (10) days after the infected mosquito bite transpires.
One of the most common dengue fever symptoms is the onset of high fever (104 degrees celsius).
This is then followed by:
- Severe headache;
- Swollen glands;
- Skin rashes;
- Nausea and vomiting; and
- Muscle ache and joint pain.
While several people often recover from dengue fever within a week or a fortnight, others suffer from severe symptoms that worsen over the course of medication. Such prevalent symptoms are nothing short of fatal and are referred to as dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Post recovery, while you might acquire long-term immunity to the particular type of virus you were infected with, you won’t get immunity against the other three virus variants. Does this mean you can be infected again with another one of the three variants? Yes, that risk still persists. In fact, the possibility to develop severe dengue fever rises with every consecutive onset of the dengue fever.
Dengue Fever Treatment
Until this day, dengue has no specific medicine or treatment. While doctors generally administer paracetamol to patients for pain regulation and fever management. Greater preference is given to paracetamol over aspirin, since the latter is prone to stimulate bleeding. Apart from medication, increasing fluid ingestion is another one of the essential remedies for dengue fever treatment.
In severe dengue fever cases, treatments resort to IVF supplements, blood transfusions, and hospitalization.
Dengue Fever Prevention
The best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquito bites.Controlling mosquito breeding is one of the most efficient ways to accelerate the preventive care.
Apart from that, here are a few tips that might help you cut down on the risks pertaining to dengue fever:
- Keep your residence well-screened: Mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus stay active from dawn to dusk, i.e. throughout the day. However, this does not negate the chances of the virus being transmitted over night time.
- Wear covered clothing: When traveling to areas where mosquito-infestation is prevalent, try to wear protective and covered clothing to tackle the cause of dengue. Wear long-sleeved clothes, covered trousers, etc.
- Apply mosquito repellent: When moving out of the house, remember to apply mosquito repellent on your clothing and shoes.
- Bring down mosquito habitat: The mosquitos that bear the dengue fever virus can ideally be found in and around our house, with stagnant water being its primary breeding ground. Lower mosquito breeding by keeping your surroundings clean, and eliminating habitats that might aid or proliferate the breeding process.
With the country witnessing the worst of outbreaks this November, it is high time the government, medical staff, and citizens work together to contain the disease.
How can you curb the illness and take precautionary measures against dengue fever? Get accurate information and significant remedies with doctors on #BasEkCall at 88569-88569.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Which type of doctor should I consult for dengue fever?
Dengue fever treatment is done under the purview of a general physician. Consult a general physician at Medpho with #BasEkCall on 88569-88569.
Q2. Is dengue contagious?
No, dengue is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person contact. Dengue fever virus transmission occurs when a mosquito bites an already infected person, and then bites a healthy, non-infected person. During this bite, the mosquito is capable of transmitting the dengue fever virus from the infected person to non-infected person.
Q3. Can antibiotics be used for dengue treatment?
No. Dengue fever is caused by a virus and antibiotics are not effective against viral diseases.
Q4. Is dengue fever fatal?
While mild dengue is treatable over a week or a fortnight, severe form of the disease can quickly turn fatal.
Q5. Can I be infected with dengue more than once?
Yes. When you’ve been infected with dengue once, it only minimises your chances of getting infected against the one variant which caused the previous illness. However, dengue virus has a total of four variants, and you are still prone to being infected from the other three variants.
Get answers to Dengue-related queries, click here.