Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne infection caused by the dengue virus. It is a common viral disease that affects approximately 400 million people each year with about 100 million resulting in illness. Dengue disease is widespread in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world, such as Southeast Asia, Central and South America, Mexico, the Indian Subcontinent, the Pacific Islands, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. It is also known as “break bone fever” because of its symptoms, which we will discuss in detail below.
Causes of Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Interestingly, these mosquitoes are also vectors of chikungunya, West Nile infection, yellow fever and Zika viruses. The virus responsible for causing dengue is called dengue virus (DENV). There are four DENV serotypes -(DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4), which means that it is possible to be infected four times. These mosquitoes are mostly found in urban and semi-urban areas where they breed in dirty, stagnant water. And unlike malaria mosquitoes that prey during the night, dengue mosquitoes are known to bite humans during the day, especially near dawn and dusk.
When the mosquito infects a person, the virus circulates for 2 to 7 days in the blood, which is the amount of time the fever takes to advance. That said, if a person recovers from dengue fever, they have long-term immunity to the type of virus that infected them – but not to the other three dengue fever virus types, which means you are still vulnerable to dengue infection in the future by one of the other three virus types. In addition to this, it is also crucial to know that the risk of developing severe dengue fever increases if you get dengue fever multiple times. Lastly, one cannot get dengue fever from being around an infected person. Instead, dengue fever is only transmitted through mosquito bites.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
The reason why dengue fever is also called “break bone fever” is because of the harrowing muscle, bone and joint pain a person experience while suffering from the fever. With that being said, primary symptoms of dengue fever typically take up to 7 days to appear after the bite – which can be mild or severe, depending on the personal condition. Mild symptoms are often mistaken for flu or other common viral infections. This includes headache, fever, low back pain, pain behind the eyes, vomiting, skin rashes or loss of appetite.
However, despite most people recovering within a week or so, symptoms of dengue fever may worsen and can become life-threatening. This includes hemorrhagic fever, which is a rare complication characterized by high fever, nose and gums bleeding, enlargement of the liver, damage to the lymph and blood vessels, as well as circulatory system failure. These symptoms may progress to shock, massive internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS). People with compromised immune systems as well as those with multiple dengue infections are known to be at greater risk for developing these severe symptoms.
Tips On How To Prevent From Dengue Fever
Prevention is better than cure. This is especially true in the case of dengue fever. While there are certain treatment and medication options for dengue fever, these treatments only manage its symptoms –just as it is with most viruses. Finding an effective and sustainable solution is key when it comes to protecting ourselves from the disease and its complications.
Dengue is among the top disease in India affecting thousands each year. With poor drainage systems and poor hygiene, dengue and malaria are common health threats every year, especially during the monsoon season. However, since dengue fever is spread only through mosquito bites, there are certain steps one can follow to avoid getting infected and prevent the spread. And the best primary way for this is to deal with the mosquitoes in however way possible!
To help you with that, here are some tips and precautions you can follow to keep yourself and your family from dengue fever:
- Get rid of any stagnant water in and around your house that could provide a breeding ground for dengue-causing mosquitoes. This includes puddles, flowerpots, clogged drains, old tires, etc.
- Keep windows, and doors of your home closed, especially during early mornings and evenings to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Mosquitoes usually breed in dark places. Make sure your home is well-lit with light or sunlight.
- Install mosquito net or screen in windows and doors to prevent mosquitos from entering.
- Make sure to wear long sleeves and long pants to cover your body to avoid mosquito bites.
- If your windows are not secured with nets, use a mosquito net for bed while sleeping.
- Spray your house and surrounding with anti-mosquito sprays to reduce the mosquito population.
- Keep your garbage bin covered.
- Apply mosquito repellent creams, even indoors.
- Be knowledgeable about dengue fever. If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.
While external protection is crucial when it comes to dengue fever, internal protection is just as important! One of the main characteristics of dengue fever is that it reduces the platelet count in infected individuals, which can result in severe complications. Platimore Juice by Preserva Wellness is one such solution to help you in such a case. It contains a mixture of health-benefiting ingredients like Aloe Vera, Giloya, Papaya Leaf, Curcumin, Mandukaparni & Tulsi, which work wonders in boosting platelet count, strengthening immunity and treating fever caused by dengue or chikungunya. It also acts as a tonic for the liver and is a perfect solution to protect the liver from alcohol-related liver damage.
Dengue fever may not always be severe and life-threatening but it could be. Make sure you follow the above-listed tips and precautions to avoid mosquito bites and prevent yourself and your family from getting infected. Remember, ‘Treatment without prevention is unsustainable’!
Look out for warning signs of dengue fever so you can manage its symptoms while in the early stages. Make sure to consult with your health specialist or a doctor if you feel you have dengue fever.