Dengue fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquito bites. The mosquitoes which carry dengue are most active during the day, especially around dawn and dusk, and are usually found in or around human habitations in urban areas. The illness is less often found in rural areas and rarely above 4000 feet elevation. In New Delhi the greatest risk for Dengue follows the monsoon, September through November.
Symptoms: Dengue fever, also known as “break-bone fever”, should be suspected when a sudden onset of high fever (40°C/ 104°F) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. The rash generally appears 3-5 days after the onset of the fever. Symptoms usually last for 2-7 days, after an incubation of 4-10 days after the bite form an infected mosquito. Convalescence may be prolonged if symptoms were severe. Patients should be seen by a doctor soon after developing symptoms, to ensure they do not develop Hemorrhagic Fever (a rare but serious complication), or other disease with similar symptoms. Dengue is commonly confused with flu, malaria, typhoid, and scarlet fever.
Treatment: Treatment is symptomatic only, with rest, hydration, and Acetaminophen (Tylenol or Paracetamol) to reduce fever and discomfort. Avoid Aspirin or Ibuprofen products (Motrin, Advil), which may increase the risk of bleeding and worsen the course of the disease. Blood work is often required to monitor platelet levels. Recommended fluids are ORS (oral rehydration solution), Gatorade, water, and clear fruit juices.
What YOU can do to prevent Dengue:
· Prevent mosquito breeding in the home by ridding the home of ponded or stagnant water.
· Wear long sleeves and pants as often as possible
· Apply mosquito repellent before leaving the home.
· Install plug-ins or coils in the home.
· Use mosquito netting in the home as required.
It is quite common disease in September to November in our country. We should wear full length pants(trousers) to avoid mosquito bite. Govt. should take some steps for public awareness to prevent this disease.
(Dr.R.N.Kalra’s advise on dengue disease)