In recent years, Dengue has spread across the country like an endemic, putting the lives of people across various age groups into grave danger. Around the globe, 50-100 million infections occur on a yearly basis according to WHO and a total of 500,000 excusive cases of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and 22,000 deaths.
The mosquitoes carrying the 4 main types of dengue, when bite, cause the incidence of dengue fever which may turn more severe and convert into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. Based on the severities of the dengue fever, the symptoms may largely vary.
Mild Dengue Fever – Febrile Phase:
The primary symptom of the fever is the development of a skin rash, high fever and severe pain in muscle joints and behind the eyes. Other main symptoms of dengue may include:
- Chills followed by shaking
- Extreme exhaustion
- Mild bleeding of the gums
- Easy bruising
- Sudden onset of fever
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever:
The symptoms soon develop into more severe forms of the disorder, also called as the dengue hemorrhagic fever and are mostly caused by a secondary infection with a different strain of the dengue virus. However, the secondary infection with the same virus can also cause the development of dengue hemorrhagic fever. The main symptoms of the hemorrhagic fever include:
- Mouth and nose bleeding
- High fever
- Clammy skin
- Damaged blood and lymph vessels
- Bleeding under the skin or internal bleeding resulting in black vomit and feces
- Formation of red spots on the legs
- Bleeding into the intestines with sensitive stomach
- Weak pulse
- Lower number of platelets in blood
After the first diagnosis of dengue, a secondary infection may be fatal. The antibodies left in the body or blood make the reaction with the virus second time much more severe and life-threatening. If caught on early, DHF can be treated by the doctor using fluid replacement therapy.
If not caught on early, the critical phase of the DHF can result in the death of the patient with almost negligible chances of survival. The symptoms of the critical phase may include all the ones mentioned above along with the following:
- Intense stomach pain
- Altered mental status or disorientation
- Marked fall in the blood pressure (hypotension) or the state of shock
- Heavy bleeding
- Blood vessels leaking fluid
Treatment and Prevention of Dengue Fever
The treatment of the dengue fever largely depends on the wide array of symptoms it projects. Therefore they are more focused on alleviating the symptoms rather than curing the disease.
The use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase the risk of internal bleeding and therefore, other painkillers prescribed by the doctors can help in the alleviation of pain during the phases of fever.
During dengue fever, fever and recurrent vomiting can cause spells of dehydration in the body. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated (preferably using bottled water) can help in replacing the lost minerals and fluids from the bloodstream.
Intravenous Fluid Supplements:
Due to the consistent loss of fluids through vomiting and fluid leaks from the blood vessels, the patients suffering from the most severe form of dengue are unable to intake fluids orally. Therefore require IV drips to restore the osmotic balance within their blood vessels.
In patients with severe dehydration, blood transfusion can help alleviate the symptoms by replacing the minerals and fluids of the body.
As the clichéd saying goes, prevention is better than the cure and hence, it is important to remember small ways in which we can protect ourselves from mosquito bites:
- Covering the containers containing water or draining the water altogether to prevent breeding of mosquito eggs.
- Using insecticides near the breeding grounds of mosquitoes or the pots filled with water.
- Breeding small fish in pots which feed on the larvae of mosquitoes.
- Cleaning clogged drains in residential areas regularly.
- Using mosquito repellent regularly and wearing bright colored clothing which repel mosquitoes.
- Using netting for infants’ cots and normal beds as well.
- Using mosquito sprays in rooms regularly.
- Keeping the room windows closed.
- Avoid sitting in areas swamped with mosquitoes at dawn, dusk and early evening times to avoid contact with dengue mosquitoes.
It is not just the responsibility of the government but ourselves as well to ensure the safety of our environments. We need to take initiatives and participate in activities which can help in creating awareness amongst people regarding dengue and help them protect themselves more effectively. Find the best Doctors For Dengue In Pakistan and all region of Pakistan here.
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