Dengue is an acute fever caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an Aedes Argypti mosquito. The mosquitoes are found indoors, in the closet and other dark places. Outdoors they rest in a cool and shaded areas. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only a danger during the rainy season (when eggs hatches faster), but the whole year through. The World Health Organization (WHO) says, "The female mosquitoes lay their eggs in water containers in and around the homes , and other dwellings. These eggs will develop, become larvae, and further develop into adults in about 10 days."
Incurring in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world, dengue fever is severe, flu-like illness that affects infant, young children, and adults. It spreads rapidly, and in the event of epidemic, it will affect a large number of people and eventually cause the loss of lives. Another cause for alarm: More than 2.5 billion people (or 40 percent of the world's population), including 1 billion children lives in areas where there is a risk of dengue transmission.
Dengue takes 2 forms: dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever. Although both should be taken seriously, dengue fever can be seen the lesser evil. It's symptoms includes high fever, severe headache, and pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), onthe other hand is a more severe form. Leading and sometimes shock occurs. It is most serious in children, it can be fatal. In addition to the symptoms of dengue fever, WHO enumerates the following symptoms of DHF:
- Severe, continuous pain in the abdomen.
- Bleeding from the nose, mouth and gum's and skin bruising.
- Frequent vomiting with or without blood .
- Black stools.
- Excessive thirst and dry mouth.
- Pale, cold skin.
- Restlessness and sleepiness
The centers for disease control and prevention in the United States says there is no specific medication for treatment of a dengue infection. However, proper and early treatment can relieve the symptoms, and prevent complications. If you suspect dengue:
- Give analgesics (pain relievers) with paracetamol. Avoid close containing aspirin, as well as ibuprofen, since these can increase the risk of bleeding.
- Rest and plenty of fluids are also recommended.
- Even if you're not sure that it's dengue, it's best to consult a physician. A trip to the hospital is a must if vomiting and severe abdominal pain develop in the first 24 hours after the fever declines.
- For DHF, fluid replacement therapy is and option for treatment if the condition is detected early. However, this frequently require hospitalization.
There is only one way to avoid dengue, prevent mosquito bites, especially during the daytime when dengue mosquitoes attack. According to WHO, highest biting intensity is about 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset. Since there is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the dengue virus, we must keep ourselves protected from mosquito bites. Here are some tips to follow:
- Dispose or destroy containers in which water easily collects bottles, plastic bags, tins, used tires, and so on.
- Spray insecticides in your home regularly. Spray Eco-friendly and health friendly insecticide.
- Use repellent every time you head outdoors. Follow the instructions on the package you are using .
- Install screens on your windows to keep mosquitoes out.
- Outdoors, use mosquito coils which can provide up to 8-10 hours protection from mosquitoes.
- If you want convenience, opt for a liquid mosquito repellent, which can last up to 30 nights.