Dengue: Causes, Risk Factors, Prevention & Treatment
What Is Dengue?
Dengue or Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that can bring about severe symptoms as that of the flu. A family of viruses causes dengue fever, and it is transmitted by infected female Aedes mosquito. It can affect infants, small children, and even adults.
Dengue fever is common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
What Causes Dengue?
Female Aedes mosquito causes dengue. It bites during the daytime, especially in the hours of dusk and dawn. Four different viruses are causing the disease- DEN1, DEN2, DEN3, and DEN4. All of these viruses can create mild or severe kinds of conditions named Dengue hemorrhagic fever.
With the increase in population and the love for people in traveling are the significant reasons why dengue is transmitting to distinct parts of the nation.
When a mosquito bites an infected person and then bites another person, it transmits the disease. This cycle goes on, and the number of people affected with the disease increases.
What Are The Risk Factors For Dengue?
Certain factors can increase the risk of dengue. Some of them are as follows:
Children ages 1 to 5 years
Susceptibility to infected blood products
Presence of additional diseases rather than dengue
Living or traveling to dengue-prone regions
What Are The Symptoms Of Dengue?
Some teens and small children don’t experience any symptoms of dengue as such. But for some people, some of the symptoms do appear after 4-7 days after getting the mosquito bite. People get high fever accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
Vomiting(at least three times a day)
Pain in bones, muscles, and joints
Feeling fatigued and irritable
Pain behind the eyes
Bleeding nose or gums
How Is Dengue Diagnosed?
The moment you realize that you could have dengue, consult your healthcare professional straight away. The physician will ask specific relevant questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and your susceptibility to mosquitoes. He can detect the disease by your answers to these questions or just by looking at you.
To confirm, the physician may take some samples of your blood and test for the presence of dengue viruses. The presence of antibodies to fight dengue in your bloodstream indicates that you have dengue.
Follow the advice of your physician and prevent death from dengue. The disease can be fatal when diagnosed at the later stages.
How To Prevent Dengue?
There is no vaccine to prevent dengue. You can only take steps to prevent yourself from a mosquito bite. If you are one of those people living in dengue prone cities or traveling to one, you can consider the following points:
1. Utilize mosquito repellents with 10% and above a concentration of diethyltoluamide or DEET. Don’t use such repellant on small children as it can cause serious side effects.
2. Wearing full-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, hats, etc. can reduce your skin exposure and prevent mosquito bites.
3. Studies have found that soaps and scents of strong aroma can attract mosquitos. Avoid using such products and prevent dengue to some extent.
4. The mosquito bites of dusk and dawn cause dengue. So, avoid stepping out of the home during this time and reduce the risk.
5. You can use door and window screens in your homes and keep mosquitoes away.
6. Make sure to treat your clothes and shoes with permethrin. You can apply it directly to your skin or spray on your clothes and prevent mosquito bites.
7. Keep a check on the stagnant water around your house. The mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and so keeping a check on it can reduce the risk of the disease.
- Take off excess water from plant pot plates
- Eradicate mosquito eggs by scrubbing the containers
- Don’t allow the leaves to create a blockage that can result in stagnant water.
- Change water in the flower vases of your home regularly and also clean the inside of the vessel frequently.
How Is Dengue Treated?
There is no specific treatment or vaccination that you can take and get rid of dengue hemorrhagic fever. When you are in hospital for treatment, the doctor tries to manage your symptoms by:
- Tracking your blood pressure
- Monitoring the temperature of your body
- Keeping a check on your fluid levels and balance them
If you don’t get any medical assistance, the following points will help you relieve the symptoms:
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids.
- Take proper rest.
- Avoid ibuprofen and aspirin as it can increase your internal bleeding.
- You can take rehydration salts as a replacement to lost minerals and fluids.