Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted from the bite of a female Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of Dengue include fever, headache, eye pain, muscle, joint, or bone pain, rash, nausea and vomiting. Severe dengue is an emergency and may lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can cause death due to excess bleeding.
Nearly 400 million people get infected all over the world with dengue virus, of which, close to 100 million get sick. Outbreaks are usually reported in Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, America, the Western Pacific, Caribbean, and Africa.
According to latest media reports, many states in India have been gripped by dengue fever this year. The highest number of cases was reported in October due to the delayed monsoon withdrawal which facilitated long-drawn breeding of the vector-borne mosquitoes. A total of 163 dengue cases have been reported till July 15 this year. according to data shared by the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control. Alarmingly, the caseload in the national capital exceeded 2,100 on October 26, 2022 and we are still continuing to see both mosquitoes and Dengue fever as late as December.
Common symptoms of Dengue fever are well knows – basically a high fever, many times with headache.
However warning signs that dengue maybe severe are –
- severe stomach pain
- Vomiting more than 3-4 times in a day
- Bleeding from the nose or gums
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in the stool
- Extreme fatigue
If you or your family members show any of these symptoms you should consider taking immediate medical help. It is important to know that there is no specific medicine for treating dengue fever. What you should do is avoid the infection by preventing mosquito bites.
Here are some ways to prevent dengue fever –
Be watchful to detect and destroy potential breeding places of mosquitoes. Dengue mosquitoes are known to breed in stagnant water stored in buckets or other vessels, planters, vases, clogged drains and unused pools etc. Check the wet and moist places in and around your house on a daily basis and make sure that there isn’t any stagnant water anywhere. Also, do not let wet waste get accumulated in your house.
Keep surroundings clean
Keeping your surroundings clean is important to stop mosquitoes from breeding. Unclean surroundings tend to get wet with rains or otherwise and become potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Make sure that the trash bins of your locality are always covered.
Some plants like neem, tulsi, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are known to be natural mosquito-repellents. They can also refresh the environment around your home and may help in preventing mosquitoes from entering your house.
Light up your home
Damp and dark places are the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Therefore, make sure that your house is properly lit. Keep windows open during the day for sunlight to enter. You can put mosquito nets on the window for safety.
Use bed-nets to sleep inside at night.
Tips like lighting camphor may also help prevent mosquitoes from entering the house, as camphor is known as a natural pest repellent.
Be careful while travelling to places with high cases of Dengue fever
The dengue virus generally spreads in the monsoon. So, you will have to be careful while going out during the rainy season to reduce your risk of dengue infection.
Use insect repellent
Mosquito repellent creams, with active ingredients such as DEET up to 30 per cent, picaridin or IR3535, work very well in protecting you from mosquito bites. While being very effective the creams are also gentle on the skin as they are made with a delicate formula.
Wear proper clothing
Wearing fully covered clothes, including full-sleeve shirts, tees, or tops and pants which cover up your body well, is a good way to prevent mosquito bites which cause dengue fever.
In case you have dengue fever/fever and are worried about the severity of the infection, consult a highly experienced general physician on DocGenie. All our GPs are available for online video sessions. With DocGenie you can get quality medical help from the comfort of your home, in a cost effective way.
About the Author
Dr. Rachna Kucheria is one of the best general physicians in Delhi NCR. She is a US-trained Physician (Family Practice) on the lines of the old-fashioned ‘Family Doctor’ we grew up with and hope to find again. Her emphasis on early, accurate diagnosis; appropriate (few) medicines; and clear patient communication, sets her apart as one of the most trusted physicians in Delhi. She is licensed to practice medicine both in India & California. Her 27 years of experience includes practicing in the hospital, clinic and (patient) home setting, and for the last 4 years, telemedicine