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Mommy Zone, Dengue Blogs September 18, 2018

By a Doctor – 10 Things all moms-to-be should know about dengue

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that often causes an illness resembling the flu but may also cause dangerous complications, called ‘severe dengue’.

Here are few things moms-to-be or new moms must know about dengue:

1. Transmission:  Dengue is transmitted to humans through the bite of an already infected femaleAedes aegypti mosquito. Such a mosquito is infected by feeding on the blood of an infected person and spreads the virus by biting someone else. It is thus very important to protect infected persons from mosquito bites during their illness.

 

2. Nomenclature: Dengue fever is also known as break-bone fever. It can get further complicated due to life-threatening conditions such as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

 

3. Dengue SymptomsDengue results in severe flu-like symptoms which can vary depending on the patient’s age. It should be suspected if an individual gets a high fever of about 104°C coupled with any two of the following symptoms:

  1. Severe headache
  2. Rash
  3. Nausea and/or vomiting
  4. Pain behind the eyes
  5. Muscle and joint pains
  6. Swollen glands

Symptoms usually appear 4-10 days after a mosquito bite and usually last for about 2-7 days 2

Severe dengue has warning signs2 that occur after a decrease in temperature (100°) about 3-7 days post the appearance of the initial symptoms:-

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fatigue or restlessness
  • Continued vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bleeding gums

The patient becomes sicker with DSS and their BP may fall dangerously low. DSS patients need immediate hospitalization and management by a medical team.

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, but the following steps can be taken:

  1. Patient care: Patients should get proper rest and drink plenty of fluids such as water, coconut water, fresh juices etc. Paracetamol is advised to help reduce the fever while ibuprofen/aspirin should strictly be avoided.
  2. During pregnancy: Dengue during pregnancy can cause preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW) in infants. Some studies claim that DHF may cause fetal death or bleedingduring pregnancy.
  3. Dengue and newborns: Mosquitoes aren’t picky and will attack anyone, including newborns. But it may become difficult to diagnose dengue in newborns as symptoms are unclear. Thus, protection from mosquito bites is a must for newborns.

Preventive measures:Since mosquitoes are the primary transmitting source for dengue, prevention is vastly more necessary than cure. Options include:

  1. Staying indoors in cool, air-conditioned, well-screened homes.
  2. Covering your body as much as possible with full sleeves, long pants, socks, and shoes.
  3. Destroying all stagnant water as mosquitoes breed mostly in stagnant water.
  4. Plug in the new Goodknight Power Activ+ System while indoors and the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On for the outdoors to keep mosquitoes away. These products, made from natural sources, are safe for both expectant women and babies, and quite effective at keeping mosquitoes away.

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