What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue virus has been emerging as one of the most life claiming viruses in human history. This virus causes a very fatal disease called Dengue Fever which is also known as “Breakbone Fever” or “Dandy Fever”. Most recently this fever has claimed too many casualties and many people have been affected by Dengue Virus. Up till now no proper medical solution of this fever has been discovered. There is no vaccine or antibiotic for its treatment. That is why this fever has proved to be a life-threatening disease.
Dengue virus is spread with mosquito’s bite. It is female mosquito called Aedes. Dengue fever is caused by the bite of any one of the four serotypes. This virus can affect any one but mostly it tends to be more severe in persons with compromised immune systems. It is possible to get suffered with Dengue fever more than once. Dengue fever affected patients suffer contortions due to the intense joint and muscle pain. Hence the name Breakbone Fever. West Indian slaves suffering from contracted dengue had posture and gait like a dandy. Thus this disease was called Dandy Fever.
Facts about Dengue:
Recent cases of dengue fever have been reported in Caribbean, The U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, Paraguay in South America, Costa Rica in Central America as well as in Pakistan. It affects 50-100 million people worldwide a year, leading half a million hospitalized and 12500-25000 deaths per year. Enormous increase in this disease is possibly due to urbanization, population growth, increased international travel and global warming. Dengue fever is second most infectious disease after malaria. WHO (World Health Organization) counts dengue fever as one of sixteen among most neglected tropical diseases.
This disease is very painful and debilitating. As soon as the mosquito carrying the virus bites a person, the symptoms start appearing within 3-15 days (most commonly 5-8). The symptoms may include all of the following or most of them:
- Rash on the body
- Swollen glands
- Severe pain behind the eyes
- Red palms and soles
- Low Backache
- Intense muscle and joint pain
- Temperature may rise quickly as high as 104 F
- Low Heart rate
- Low Blood Pressure
- Reddened eyes
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most severe form of this disease. It tends to affect children under 10 years of age. Symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, circulator collapse (shocks), fever, rash and evidence of hemorrhage (bleeding) in the body. Possible signs of hemorrhage can be small red or purple splotches or blisters under the skin, easy bruising, bleeding from nose or gums and black stools.
Attack by a serotype of this virus produces immune to further attack of that particular serotype for lifetime. But that person is still prone to attack by other three serotypes. As there is no vaccine yet discovered, the treatment is purely concerned with the relief of the symptoms.
As stated earlier, there is no vaccine or antibiotic for this viral disease. But there are certain remedies to relieve the severeness of Dengue Fever:
- Rest and fluid intake for adequate hydration
- Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (under doctor’s supervision)
- A popular natural remedy as to use juice of apple with lemon drops. It increases level of platelets in blood.
- Another natural remedy is: Take two papaya leaves and grind them. Then filter the juice with filter cloth. Use 2 tea-spoons twice a day to increase the platelets in your blood.
- Take Vitamin B Complex. This leaves a smell on the skin that helps repelling the mosquitoes.
- Vitamin C is also very useful because it strengthens the immune system and collagen.
The best way not to fall a prey to any disease is to just follow the precautionary measures. After all it is well-said:
“Prevention is better than Cure”
To prevent yourself from the bite of dengue do the following:
- Keep the water containers covered. If they cannot be covered they must be emptied.
- Spray insecticides or biological control agents near standing water.
- Wear clothes that completely cover the skin to prevent mosquito bites.
- Use mosquito netting while resting and sleeping.
- Use insect repellents on your skin.
- Use mosquito sprays in your homes.
- Prefer not to go outside at the time of dawn and sunset, because it’s the time when dengue mosquitoes are in abundance.
I hope all this information will be fruitful in order to know about Dengue Virus, to avoid being infected by this virus and possibly help in treating an infected patient. Do not forget to comment on my post to let me know if it was helpful. Regards