Dengue is preventable and manageable

Dengue has once again made its appearance in the capital causing extreme chaos and panic. However most dengue cases are preventable and it is extremely essential to educate the masses about its treatment, prevention and myths.

Speaking about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Dengue is both preventable and manageable. The risk of complications is in less than 1% of dengue cases and, if warning signals are known to the public, all deaths from dengue can be avoided.A platelet transfusion is not needed if the platelet counts are more than 10,000. Unnecessary platelet transfusion can cause more harm than good”.

Symptoms experienced by patients suffering from Dengue
Fever is present in 90% cases
Headache, eye pain, body pain, and joint pain in 80% cases
Rash in 50% cases
Nausea or vomiting in 50 % and diarrhea in 30% cases
Cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion are present in 33% cases

Most dengue virus infections in adults are symptomatic (86%) and in children under the age of 15 years are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. Classic dengue fever is an acute febrile illness accompanied by headache, retroorbital pain, and marked muscle and joint pains.Symptoms typically develop between 4 and 7 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.The incubation period may range from 3 to 14 days.Fever typically lasts for five to seven days. The febrile period may also be followed by a period of marked fatigue that can last for days to weeks, especially in adults.Joint pain, body aches, and rash are more common in females.

Most complications of dengue occur after the fever is over. The two days after the last episode of the fever are crucial and during this period, a patient should be encouraged to take plenty of oral fluids mixed with salt and sugar. The main complication is leakage of capillaries and collection of blood outside the blood channels leading to intravascular dehydration. Giving fluids orally or by intravenous routes, if given at a proper time, can save fatal complications.

Physicians should remember the ‘Formula of 20’ i.e. rise in pulse by more than 20; fall of BP by more than 20; difference between lower and upper BP less than 20 and presence of more than 20 hemorrhagic spots on the arm after a tourniquet test suggest a high risk situation and the person needs immediate medical attention.

The onus of preventing dengue lies with the public and not with the Government authorities. The dengue mosquitoes are found only in water collected outside the house and not in dirty water in the drains. When suffering from dengue, one should NOT use aspirin for fever as aspirin also has antiplatelet effects.