While the dengue crisis is at par and several deaths are recorded in the country lately, it is quite evident to know Dengue in brief. Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) fever is a disease which is caused by a family of viruses mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue fever leads to acute illness and sudden onset of benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), and rash. Dengue can affect anyone but generally a prominent aspect of it is that it grabs individuals having a weak immune system. Dengue is caused by one of five types of serotype viruses. It has been seen that this fever attack on a person’s immune system multiple times.
Dengue is a mosquito borne viral infection which is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, A. albopictus. It’s a flu like illness that equally affects infants, children and adults. If person is suffering from high fever of 104 degree F and/or carries two of the below mentioned symptoms, dengue should be suspected.
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle and joint pains
- Swollen glands
- Widespread rash
- Minor bleeding from the nose or gums
After an incubation period of the mosquito that lasts for 4-10 days from the time of the bite of the mosquito, symptoms shows visibility for 2-7 days.
In case of severe dengue, warning signs occur 3–7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in body temperature (below 38°C/100°F) and include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Persistent vomiting
- Bleeding gums
- Breathing difficulty
- Blood in vomit
Dengue is a disease which can be treated to a great extent if early precautions are adopted for being protected.
If one is traveling in tropical regions where dengue is prevalent, following preventive measures must be adopted:
1. Stay in your conditioned or closed housing:
To keep this disease at bay, its important to stay inside your house and mosquitoes must not enter your habitat.
2. Look for protective clothing:
If you need to go in mosquito-infested area, try wearing long sleeve clothing like shirts, pants, socks and shoes.
3. Make use of mosquito repellant:
A must if you are in dengue infested area. Permethrin can be applied to your clothing, shoes, camping gear and bed netting. You can also buy clothing made with permethrin already in it.
4. Reduce outdoor outings:
Make sure you stay at home during the evenings and early mornings, when the mosquitoes are more active.
As dengue is caused by a virus, therefore there is no precise medicine or antibiotics to challenge it. However, the only treatment that lasts is to treat the symptoms.
“My wife had dengue last month. I gave her three glasses of juice extracted from papaya leaves daily, which helped reduce the loss in platelet count. It works wonders,” said Suman Verma, a resident of East of Kailash.
According to an article published in Indian Pediatrics journal by two doctors from Maulana Azad Medical College, the therapeutic effects of extract of papaya leaves are presumed to be due to several active components such as papain, chymopapain, cystatin, L-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, cyanogenic glucosides and glucosinolates.
Claiming that Ayurvedic products can increase the platelet count in dengue patients faster than allopathic medicines, yoga guru Baba Ramdev advocated the use of medicines like ‘giloy’ and ‘aloe vera’ to counter the mosquito-borne disease.
The yoga guru came forward in the Dengue crisis where the products made in his Ayurveda firm ‘Patanjali’ bet to aid against this disease.