The right measures for dengue fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral fever, which can lead to severe illness in people. Because of the severity of the illness, it is also called ‘bone-breaking’ fever. According to experts like Best General Physician in Lahore there are four types of dengue viruses, with disease symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Read on to know more about dengue fever, and the right measures to treat it:
What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating viral infection transmitted by mosquito bites. Around the world, nearly 400 million cases of dengue fever occur annually. In severe cases dengue fever can turn into dengue shock syndrome (DSS) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Both these conditions can turn fatal without prompt medical management.
Dengue fever has no definitive cure; only prevention and early detection can help to manage disease and prevent fatalities.
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
The symptoms of dengue fever can be divided into mild and severe.
In case of mild symptoms, there is sudden onset of fever going up to 104°F. This can last from two days up to a week, with spikes of fever in between. Additional symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Aching muscles and joint pains
- Sore throat
- Red eyes
- Retroorbital pain
Of all the cases of dengue fever, around 0.5 to 5 percent take a turn for the worse. Severe symptoms of dengue fever can be life-threatening. The fever in severe dengue averages around 99.5 to 100.4°F, but the symptoms appear 24 to 48 hours thereafter. These include:
- Vomiting blood
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
- Bleeding from gums and nose
- Weak pulse
- Cold, clammy skin
- Restless or irritable patient
What are the areas of risk of dengue fever?
The high-risk areas of dengue include:
- North and South America
- South-east Asia
- Eastern Mediterranean
About 70 percent of all cases of dengue fever occur in Asia. In the United States, the areas with most prevalent dengue fever include:
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Puerto Rico
- American Samoa
How is dengue fever diagnosed?
The diagnosis of dengue fever is made through:
- Assessment of the symptoms of fever
- Assessing the travelling history of the patient
- Blood tests to confirm the diagnosis
What are the treatment options?
The treatment for dengue fever is mostly symptomatic. For milder infection, the treatment options include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. This can include intravenous supplementation of fluids if need be.
- Using over-the-counter fever medication like paracetamol. However, aspirin or ibuprofen should not be used as these drugs are antiplatelet and can worsen internal bleeding.
- Hospitalization is recommended for severe cases.
- Blood transfusion
What are the right measures of dengue fever?
Dengue fever can be prevented with the following measures:
- Reducing mosquito habitat
The Aedes mosquitoes which transmits dengue, thrives in stagnant water. Dealing with the habitat of these mosquitoes can reduce the transmission of infection. Stagnant water sites can prevent the breeding of these mosquitoes.
- Using mosquito repellants
Using mosquito repellants on exposed skin helps to repel the mosquitoes and eliminate the chances of them biting. If one is travelling to endemic areas like the tropics, one should always carry and use mosquito repellants, even while staying indoors. For children and babies, mosquito bands and patches are available than can help save from mosquito bites.
- Using mosquito screens
When dengue fever is rampant, one should use indoor screens without any holes to prevent the mosquitoes from entering the house. These screens should be particularly used at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active.
- Wearing protective clothing
One should use full sleeved clothing, with pants and socks to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes especially when going outdoors at dawn and dusk.
- Changing the time of the outings
Aedes mosquito that transmits dengue is most active during dawn and dusk. Therefore, at this time one should try to remain indoors with mosquito repellant to minimize the chances of infection.
- Keeping the house airy and well-lit
Mosquitoes are also rampant in damp and dark places. General Physician in Karachi recommend keeping the indoors well-lit and dry also keeps out these disease-causing vectors.