A common mosquito-borne illness caused by the Aedes mosquitoes, dengue is an easily avoidable disease if the right precautions are taken. In the recent past, dengue has resulted in severe epidemics across the country and an alarming number of deaths due to late intervention. To protect oneself, it is important that we are aware of the symptoms and the steps we can take to prevent infection.
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. The severity of the disease however is more among young children and babies, making it vital to take as much precaution as possible where children are concerned.
What are the symptoms of dengue?
The early symptoms of dengue are similar to those of chikungunya, often causing misdiagnosis. Majority of the people suffer only from mild symptoms when afflicted with dengue. But 5% of infected individuals suffer severely, of which few are life-threatening. It does require quick diagnosis in order to treat the illness when it is at a mild stage. Taking anywhere between 3 days up to 14 days for the onset, the symptoms include sudden fever, joint pains, headache, rash, and ache in the muscles. While these are the common dengue symptoms in adults and children, gastroenteritis is often seen as a symptom with common cold among kids.
Treatment of dengue
The dengue symptoms in kids and adults differ in severity, exhibiting different effects. Since there is no specific treatment available for dengue; appropriate management of symptoms is crucial. The only known commercial vaccine for dengue is available in some of the countries like Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, among others. There are mixed opinions on the efficacy of the vaccine till date. India has decided not to introduce the vaccine till they have enough evidence to support its efficacy and minimal adverse effects. Compared to getting treated for dengue fever, it is best to take precautions to avoid the disease itself.
Aedes mosquitoes breed in clean, standing water. The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, like open containers that hold water in and around the home.
Outdoors, clean water containers like pet and animal watering containers, flower planter dishes or cover water storage barrels.
Look for standing water indoors such as in vases with fresh flowers and clean at least once a week.
These mosquitos have adapted well to human settlements; they prefer resting and breeding around human activity.
They prefer biting during the day. To protect yourself, use personal repellent like Goodknight Fabric Roll-On when you are outdoors and don’t forget to use liquid vaporizers like Goodknight Activ+ even during the day.
When possible, wear long sleeves and pants for additional protection. Also, make sure window and door screens are secure and without holes. If someone in your house is ill with dengue, take extra precautions to prevent mosquitoes from biting the patient and going on to bite others in the household.
Let’s take these precautions and ensure a dengue free season.