Dengue Fever Monsoon Nightmare

One of the worst nightmares for both the civic authorities and the general public is the dengue fever. Every year, especially during the rainy season, this fever causes health issue among many people. Sometimes, it also causes death among the humans. This year in my own area around seven people were infected with dengue fever. Two of them, who were between 50 and 60 years of age, expired as a result of the fever. This type of fever should not be taken lightly. We need to take appropriate measures to control it. However, before combating this dangerous fever we need to fully understand the source and cause of this fever.

Dengue fever is transmitted by Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It is the same mosquito which can transmit yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, Mayaro viruses and other diseases. These mosquitoes have white stripes on their legs and bodies. Dengue fever is also referred to as break-bone fever because it causes severe muscle and joint pain. The other symptoms of fever include severe headache, red rashes, diarrhoea, vomiting, gastritis, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. This fever suddenly commences with high fever and rashes start to appear 3 to 4 days after the start of the fever.

Most of the dengue fevers do not last beyond a week. However, in some cases the fever can turn into a life-threatening disease and is accordingly referred to as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome. In Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, there is blood plasma leakage and an extremely low platelet count. In the latter case, the patients experience extreme low blood pressure, which may often lead to a circulatory collapse (shock). People suffering from such cases have to be admitted to a hospital and kept under proper medical observation.

Dengue fever can attack anybody, especially the ones with a weak immune system, such as children and the elderly. There is no treatment for the virus. Most of the available medication only treats the symptoms of dengue fever. Hence, we need to take proper precaution against the mosquito.

One of the doctors in my area informed me about various precautions that one can take against this fever. First of all, the dengue virus is most active during early morning and late afternoon. Hence, we need to take special precautions during these times of the day. Secondly, these mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water. So we must avoid water stagnancy in and around our homes. We also need to cover our water buckets and overhead water tanks in our buildings. These mosquitoes are attracted to darker shades. So it is best to wear full-sleeved light coloured clothes and avoid wearing dark coloured clothes.

Mosquito repellents are also a good way to keep dengue mosquitoes at bay. It is always suggested to use mosquito repellents that contain 10 per cent DEET. But make sure not to apply the repellents on the eyes and lips. Dengue mosquitoes mostly bite below the knee region. So it is best to wear clothes that cover our calves, ankles and feet. Tropical and sub-tropical areas are more infected with dengue virus. Try and avoid travelling to these regions, especially during the monsoon season.

The public health department is doing its job of civic cleanliness and keeping the dengue mosquitoes under check. Instead of always relying on the public health department, we need to take individual precaution against the breeding of mosquitoes of dengue fever. After all, prevention is better than cure!

© Arked Infotech 2018

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