What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue is one of the most common and widespread diseases in India, typically caused by the bite of a mosquito. World Health Organization defines Dengue Fever as – “Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.” According to WHO, even though the global occurrence of Dengue has reduced drastically in past decade, almost half of the world’s population in now at the risk of being infected with Dengue. In fact, the danger of dengue fever is such that it is the leading cause of serious illness and death among children. It takes around 3 to 14 days for symptoms to appear after the person has been infected with Dengue. The fever of Dengue shows symptoms that are pretty similar in nature to those of flu or other viral infections. So, getting a diagnosis after six days of symptoms mentioned below is a must. Dengue can be caused by distinct viruses of Flavirvirdae family. These include – Den 1, Den 2, Den 3, and Den 5.
Origin of Dengue Fever
The disease of Dengue was first reported in China during the 265 – 420 CE. But according to the American Society for Microbiology, a dengue-like disease was first detected in 1779 at Jakarta and Cairo, though the transmission by Aegypti was not confirmed before 1906.
Another fascinating account of the origin of Dengue takes us to Africa, where it was spread worldwide via slave trade. The name dengue is derived from the Swahili “Ka-Dinga Pepo” which means “cramp like disease caused by an evil spirit”.
What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Viruses such as DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 and DEN 4 are typical causes of dengue amid human beings. In most cases, the symptoms of Dengue widely clash with those noticed in case of flu or viral infection. However, there are an array of symptoms that are atypical and suggest Dengue. These are as follows:-
- High Fever
- Join pains
- Severe headache
- Mild nose bleeding, gum bleeding
- Low count of white blood cells
- Low count of blood platelets
- Severe abdominal pain
- Red patches on skin
- Breathing problem
- Black, tarry Stools
- Severe eye pain
The problem of dengue may turn severe with dengue hemorrhagic fever, which leads to high fever, damage of blood vessels, enlargement of liver, problem with circulatory system and bleeding from nose and gums. Further Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever can turn into Dengue Shock Syndrome, where you may notice persistent bleeding, shocks and finally to death. People with weak immune system may quickly fall prey to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.
How to get diagnosed against Dengue?
An individual may be recommended tests against Dengue in case he/she experiences high fever along with pain in the muscles and body. Symptoms of Dengue fever are similar to those of flu, measles, typhoid fever, etc. While diagnosing dengue, the blood of the infected person is tested for the presence of virus and the antibodies. Diagnoses of dengue infection can be made by below:
- Isolating the virus by collecting serum sample from patients
- Detection of specific antibodies by collecting serum sample within 6 days of visible symptoms
- Taking help of Polymerase Chain Reaction from Cerebro Spinal Fluid.
Suggested tests for diagnosing dengue include:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test
- Antibody Titer for dengue virus type
- Liver Function Test (LFT)
You can visit your nearest Dr Lal PathLabs collection center for getting these tests done. Also, you can book test from anywhere on your mobile here – https://www.lalpathlabs.com/mobileapp.aspx
How to prevent Dengue Fever?
Since there’s no vaccine available in the market today that can help prevent a person from suffering from the fever of Dengue, there sure are some preventive measures one can undertake to avoid it. These are as follows:-
- Stay in air-conditioned rooms/spaces: During the outbreak of Dengue Fever, it is recommended to stay in air-conditioned space or well-screened house to avoid mosquito bite. What is noteworthy about Dengue infection is that although the dengue viruses are active during morning and evening but may cause infection even during nights. So, it is important to take necessary precautions at all times of the day.
- Wear Protective Clothing: During dengue, it is suggested to wear protective clothing while going out to avoid mosquito bites. It is also recommended to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and shoes.
- Mosquito Repellent: Apply mosquito repellent like Permethrin to the shoes, clothing and bed netting to keep mosquito and dengue virus away. You can also use the mosquito repellent on our body when you are going out, especially in gardens/parks, as these are breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Stagnate Water: Don’t allow water to stagnate, as the Aedes mosquito finds clean and stagnate water the best place to breed. So, don’t allow fresh water to stagnate near surroundings and make sure that you empty your room coolers, flower pots and bird pots to keep your loved ones safe from dengue virus. Reduce the spots for mosquito habitat to lessen the risk of Dengue fever.
- Use Mosquito Net: Keep children, old people and others safe while sleeping from Dengue virus by using mosquito net, you can make these nets more effective by applying mosquito repellent on them.
- Regular Fumigation: Regular fumigation must be done in home and surroundings to avoid mosquito spreading infection with dengue fever. The fumigation makes it difficult for the mosquito to breed.
Summarizing the necessary precautions:
- Use mosquito repellent
- Regular Fumigation
- Use mosquito net
- Wear full sleeves clothes
- Don’t allow water to stagnate especially in coolers and nearby small containers
What are the remedies for Dengue Fever?
When it comes to Dengue and its remedies, the age-old saying “Prevention is better than cure” is the best and apt response. Prevention from dengue entirely depends on effective control measures. As such there is no distinct or specific treatment available for dengue. But having said that, an early detection as well as good and proper medical care and supervision can lower fatality rates below 1%. Hence one should use above mentioned measures to prevent dengue fever. In case, you are detected with the fever of dengue, follow the below-mentioned home remedies for a quick and speedy recovery:
- Barley Grass: During dengue fever, you will witness the high loss of blood platelets. Barley has a different significance of helping human body in blood platelet recovery by supporting the production of more and more of blood cells. So, you can directly consume barley grass or a barely tea for immediate recovery of blood platelets. Rapid decrease in count of blood platelets may push you towards Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.
- Water: Due to excessive sweating and the internal process in body during dengue fever leads to extreme dehydration. So, it is very important to drink water and fluid frequently in order to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration may lead to severe headache and cramps in muscle. Keeping your body hydrated will also help recovering from both. Drinking more and more liquid will help your body keeping clean from inside by flushing toxins that may complicate the fever.
- Neem Leaves: Neem leaves are known for their bitterness and the high quality remedial value. Steeping and drinking neem leaves water helps in recovering blood platelet count and white blood cells, which get damaged during dengue. They help in improving immune system. That’s not all. Benefits of neem leaves are manifold. They also boost the body’s strength post dengue fever and help in restoring normalcy with sufficient strength.
- Papaya Leaves: Papaya leaves are widely known to cure the disease of dengue. Papaya leaves are rich in organic compound helps in recovering count for blood platelets, the oxidants help in overcoming stress & overcoming toxics and the presence of high quality of Vitamin C helps in improving immune system.
- Orange Juice: Orange juice is recommended during dengue as it’s a rich source of oxidants and vitamins. It helps in improving the body’s immunity and increases urination which aids in pushing toxins out of the body through urine. Orange juice is high on Vitamin C which helps you feel refreshed and strengthened during dengue fever
- Fenugreek Leaves: Fenugreek leaves help in lowering the impact of fever. They also help in relieving the pain and stimulate peaceful sleep. Fenugreek leaves are one of the most common remedy for dengue fever and are used worldwide.
Dengue is one of the most common disease suffered by people across the globe these days. Whenever you see any of the symptoms mentioned above, you must consult your family physician and get yourself diagnosed against the disease of Dengue. You can visit your nearest Dr Lal PathLabs diagnostic centre and get yourself tested for Complete Blood Count (CBC), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test, and Antibody Titer for dengue virus type or Liver Function Test (LFT).
Prevention is better than cure. Hence, it is advised to take the above mentioned measures to avoid dengue virus infection. Even if you are infected with dengue fever, take corrective remedies to avoid turning it severe. i.e. into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. And don’t miss out on barley grass, plenty of water and fluids, neem leaves with high remedial value, papaya leaves which plays an important role in improving blood platelets, Orange Juice to keep your self-refreshing and finally Fenugreek leaves, which are recommended worldwide to the people infected with dengue fever.