While the origin of the word dengue is not clear there is one theory that it originated from the Swahili phrase ‘ Ka dinga pepo “ which means cramp like seizure caused by an evil spirit.
Dengue fever is an illness caused by one of the four tpes of dengue virus [ DEN 1 DEN 2 DEN 3 DEN 4 ]
It is spread by a day time mosquito called Aedes Aegypti whose larvae usually survive in house hold containers filled with water and on lives with stagnant rain water. Dengue cannot spread by human to human contact.
Dengue can just pass of as mild fever or can get complicated. The severity can vary from high fever and body pains to severe headache. Fits, Lethargy, Rash, Bleeding and Shock Breathing difficulty to death [ if not detected early and managed appropriately]
Some common signs and symptoms of Dengue Fever include high fever accompanied by at least two of the following symptoms. Severe headache pain behind the eyes, Nausea Vomiting abdominal pain Swollen glands Muscle and joint pains.
Normally younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness compared to older children and adults. Watch out for the warning signs as temperature declines 3 to 7 days after symptoms began. Rush immediately to your nearest hospital if you see any of the following warning signs. Red spots or patche on the skin. Severe abdominal pain or persistent vomiting Bleeding from nose or gums Tarry Black stools Irritability or Drowsiness Vomiting blood Difficulty in breathing.
How can dengue be prevented?
Firstly controlling mosquitoes and eliminating larvae is very important. Keeping open containers clean and dry and keeping that vegetation were mosquitoes can breed away from residential areas is very important. Insectiocides larvicides and biological control are measures used in large scale to control mosquito. Using mosquito net is an effective measure.
Using mosquito repellents insecticide vaporizers aerosols and coils can be tried. Citronella patches on the child dress are a safer alternative if child as no allergy to citronella. Spray and creams to be applied during outdoor activities ensuring that these are not ingested don’t go in to the eyes. Electric bats can be used to control mosquitoes. Good water transport supply and storage measures and sanitation are very important.
Early consultation careful follow up with the Physician rest good fluid intake and temperature control with Paracetamol will take care of most of the cases. Severe cases may require hospital admission IV fluid transfusion of blood products intensive care Oxygen and ventilation.
Courtesy THE HINDU
Dr. Sivaranjani Santosh MD JIPMER
Head Department of Pediatrics
Maxcure Suyosha Women and Child Hospital
Hitech city Madhapur