Dengue is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue mosquitoes are from the Aedes aegypti species which carry and spread yellow fever and dengue. Dengue cannot spread from one person to another, but if a mosquito bites someone with the dengue virus, the mosquito becomes a carrier and later transmits it to other people. Dengue fever is also known as ‘break bone fever’ as it causes severe bone and muscle pain. In most cases, the fever goes away within a week if diagnosed and treated properly. However, some cases may become life-threatening and serious. The severe form of dengue fever also called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can cause bleeding, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems and dehydration which needs to be taken care of on an immediate basis.
Dengue cases are on a constant rise, especially after the heavy monsoon rainfall that hit the country. The mosquitoes breed in stagnant water accumulated on roads, pots, ponds and any open container filled with water for a long period of time.
Here are the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dengue fever to help you manage and prevent it effectively.
The main symptom of dengue is high fever. Other symptoms might be:
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Joint, muscle or bone pain
- Red eyes
- So rethroat
- Skin itching and rash
- Swollen glands/lymph nodes
- Bleeding from nose or gums in case of severe dengue
- Bruising easily
These symptoms usually begin 4 to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and typically last for 2 to 7days. Most people will recover from mild dengue within a week.
Dengue fever might have no symptoms or might start with the simple flu. It is advised to see a doctor right away before it develops into a much more serious disease.
The doctor will evaluate the symptoms, ask about medical and travel history and order blood tests to confirm the diagnosis of the dengue virus.
There is no medicine to treat dengue fever. Mild dengue fever can be treated by managing the symptoms such as taking lots of fluids with electrolytes to prevent dehydration and getting plenty of rest. Taking over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Paracetamol may help to reduce pain and fever. Aspirin or ibuprofen are not suitable as they can increase the risk of internal bleeding. In case of severe symptoms, doctors will give intravenous (IV) fluids and electrolytes (salts) tore place those lost through vomiting or diarrhea.
TIP: A herbal remedy is to use papaya leaf juice to increase platelet count and reduce dengue fever.
A few tips to avoid mosquitos and mosquito bites could be:
- Wear clothes that cover the body
- Use mosquito repellents even indoors
- Use screens/nets on windows and doors
- Avoid going outside at dawn and dusk
- Remove any stagnant water around the home
Dengue is not a fatal disease and can be controlled and treated with early intervention. It is advised to see the doctor if you have severe dengue symptoms or if you have recently visited a place and begun to have a high fever and develop any of the warning signs such as stomach pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or blood in your nose or gums.
Make sure to take precautionary measures to protect yourself and your family members from dengue fever!
To book an online or physical consultation with the best infectious disease specialist in Karachi visit https://www.shifaam.com.You can also download the Shifaam Health App from Google Play Store(bit.ly/2JqZo3C) or the iOS App Store (apple.co/2QUVxQz). We are just a call021-37132273 or Whatsapp 0347 7222273 away!
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