Prior to the year 1970, just nine countries were plagued with an intense dengue outbreak. Today, unfortunately, the dengue disease is present in about 100 countries, and according to the World Health Organization, between 50 to 100 million infections take place each year. The most hit are the Americans, South-East Asia, including the Western Pacific region. If, for one reason or the other, you plan to visit a country that is plagued with the dengue disease, then you must take precautions.
This article aims to fill you in on some tips that can be used to safeguard yourself if you somehow find yourself in a country that is affected by this diseases, but before we proceed it is best we fill you in on other related information regarding this disease, so you have a vivid insight of what you are dealing with.
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever, which is not quite popular in some countries, is an infectious tropical disease that can be transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito likes to reside in or around the human populace and is known to do what they know how to do best (bite) when night falls. Dengue can likewise be regarded as a "break-bone fever" simply because of the intense joint and muscle pain its victim's experience.
Over the years, it has been observed that there is a rapid increase in the incidence of dengue fever. According to findings by some researchers, the increase in dengue fever can be attributed to these factors:
- The rapid rise in urban crowding creating more avenue for mosquitoes to blossom
- International commerce consists of mosquitoes that carry this disease, therefore transmitting the disease to previously free regions.
- Alterations (both local and worldwide) that have allowed mosquitoes to scale through winter seasons.
- Local and international travelers who transmit the disease to regions that are yet to be infected.
Complications with regards Dengue Fever
Like other diseases, especially those transmitted by our long-time enemy-the mosquitoes-dengue fever, come with some health complications. Below are some of these complications:
- Hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Low amount of platelets
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Reduced heart rate (Bradycardia)
- Liver injury
- Neurological injury (seizures, encephalitis)
Who can contract dengue fever?
Dengue can affect anyone, provide the individual is bitten by a mosquito that is infected. The dengue fever is very common in regions such as the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico, including central and South America. Mosquitoes infected with these diseases can be found in urban and semi-urban regions.
In several parts of the tropics and subtropics, dengue is endemic, that is, it takes place annually, typically during a time when the population of the mosquitoes responsible for this disease is on the increase, often when downpour is perfect for breeding. However, these regions are at a periodic risk for epidemic dengue, when a huge number of people are plagued with the disease during a short period.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Just like other illnesses, dengue fever has some symptoms, and it is with these symptoms, one can know the presence of this fever. Dengue fever symptoms and signs begin about 3 to 5 days (incubation time) after the virus (normally dengue virus serotypes 1-4) are transferred via a mosquito bite. Fever accompanied by painful muscle, flu-like symptoms, bone, and joint pains can be prevalent during the prime few hours when symptoms such as rash, headache, chills (shivering and or/ sweating), rash (may be itchy), etc., are visible. Another popular symptom is pain behind or at the back of the eyes.
Some people may also suffer from a sore throat, vomiting, nausea, abdominal, and/or back pain, including appetite loss. The symptoms or dengue disease normally last for about 2 to 4 days before reducing but will appear again with an unpleasant rash that attacks the body and leaves the face. You may also observe the rash on areas such as the palms of your hands and underneath your feet. Afterward, the signs and symptoms may continue for about a week or two with total recovery. In several situations, it would last for just some weeks. But, individuals that have a severe form of dengue fever infections can experience extra symptoms, including complications such as bleeding of areas such as the gums and gastrointestinal tract. This condition can be regarded as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). DHF is prevalent in children below 15 years, but it can also plague adults as well. Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) is also a clinical variation of dengue fever. DHF is normally after DSS. Dengue fever patients ultimately develop intense pains in their abdominal region, including profuse bleeding as well. They experience a decrease in their blood pressure, and if this syndrome is not attended to in time, it may result in death.
Is Dengue Fever Contagious?
No, dengue fever can't be transmitted from an infected person. This virus needs a vector, an infected mosquito, to be precise, which allows the virus to grow and develop in the mosquito before it can be transmitted from the mosquito to any unfortunate human during feeding.
Intriguing facts about dengue fever you should know
- Dengue is a disease that is caused by infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitos. This disease comes with a severe fever, muscle, and joint pains, including a rash that may occur.
- If a dengue fever victim experiences intense fever, medical care should be administered to such a person immediately, though it is possible to take care of some patients at home. Patients that have dehydration issue, including other issues such as hemorrhage and shock, need to visit the hospital.
- Treatment for this widespread disease for some victims entails oral hydration, including pain control, normally with Tylenol (acetaminophen) at home, but victims who show severe symptoms of this disease, including patients with issues such as dehydration, hemorrhages or shock needs to visit the hospital for adequate care. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) should not be used to treat pain associated with this sickness because it may increase bleeding.
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There is currently no certain treatment for this fever. Immediately you observe symptoms of dengue fever do not hesitate, contact your doctor. These symptoms areas vomiting, intense fever, nausea, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, intense headache.
Individuals who are diagnosed with this fever are advised to get adequate rest and take enough fluids-plain water, unsweetened fruit juices, or soups that are nutritious. Soft drinks shouldn't be an option. Some patients of dengue fever have discovered that drinking raw papaya juice is effective in raising their blood platelet count. Though this is yet to be proven scientifically, it is worth a trial. Aloe-Vera juice and pomegranate juice are also known by some people to be effective.
Natural Foods that can help you recover from dengue
Below, is the list of some additional natural remedies that may help in your recovery against dengue fever
- Squeeze a half size lemon into a glass of fresh apple juice and drink this mixture twice to thrice in a day.
- Squeeze fresh papaya leaves until the juice is visible and take two tablespoons, once to twice in a day (don’t attempt to boil the papaya leaves first).
- Take lemon juice twice to thrice daily.
- Add honey to boiled lemongrass (Lemongrass should be boiled with water).
- Tomatoes, black grapes, pomegranate, watermelon juice, and cherries have powerful anti-oxidant features that can assist n raising the platelet level.
- Carrot and cucumber juice are known to help patients struggling with the aftereffects of this disease.
How to safeguard yourself against dengue fever
Dengue fever should be treated with all seriousness because it is quite dangerous and could kill. Prevention they say is better than cure, so rather than waiting for the bite of a mosquito infected with this virus, why don't we devise a means to safeguard ourselves from this dangerous disease?
Currently, dengue has no cure, but with the best preventive measures, the mosquitos causing this fever can be kept at bay, therefore, keeping us safe from the disease. Below are some protective measures that we can adopt in protecting ourselves from dengue fever.
Make sure you cover and clean water containers frequently
Household items such as pet water containers, planter dishes, including flower vases, can become the perfect breeding arena for mosquitoes that transmit this disease. Mosquitoes, as we know, love laying their eggs in stagnant water, so to prevent this occurrence, it is best we carefully monitor standing water present in or around the house.
Ensure that your house is kept clean and tidy always
Do not litter your house with junks that can attract mosquitoes. Aside from standing water, mosquitoes also like laying their eggs in junks we litter around the house. Junks such as old tires and containers that hold water can be the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Make sure you eat properly and hydrate regularly
To prevent the incubation of dengue earlier, you need to have a strong immune system. To ensure that your body is safe at all times, vigilance is significant. Add more fruits and proteins in your diet. Detox regularly with Tulsi water to rid your system of parasites. Make sure you eat healthily and hydrate often. ‘
Put on protective shirts
Make sure you protect your skin from mosquito bites by clothing yourself with long-sleeved shirts, including long pants. Put on clothing that covers your hands and other exposed parts of your body that is prone to mosquito bites. You should wear these protective clothing, especially when you plan on going outdoor during sunrise or sunset. Dissimilar to other mosquitos responsible for various diseases, dengue mosquitoes feed during the day with their activity at its highest during dawn and dusk. You should also remember to make use of body repellents when going out, particularly during the day.
Purchase mosquito nets
The use of mosquito nets is another effective measure that can be adopted in the prevention of dengue fever. Mosquito nets ensure that you remain secured from mosquito bites while you sleep. Check the mosquito net to ensure that there are no holes present to get maximum protection.
You can install screens
For better protection against mosquitoes that cause the dengue virus, consider installing screens on your windows and doors to ensure that mosquitoes have no passage into our home.
Buy effective insecticides
You can make use of mosquito coils in this regard but ensure that you keep them safely away from the reach of children.
Make sure your waste is well disposed
You can make use of trash cans that are equipped with lids to dispose of your trash frequently. Separating your trash may be beneficial in stopping insects from getting into your household.
Use mosquito repellents all over your body
Make sure this is done particularly during raining periods or times when you feel that you will be very prone to insects. Ensure you contact a doctor before you use any product on children as some of these products have side-effects on children.
10. Make sure you take good care of your roof gutters to prevent water buildup
As we know, mosquitoes love laying their eggs on standing water. It is, therefore vital that we take proper care of our roof gutters to ensure that these insects don’t have any breeding ground around our home.
Though dengue fever isn't contagious, mosquitoes can be infected if it feeds on individuals who have these diseases. This can result in a cycle whereby the infected mosquito becomes a new carrier of this dangerous disease.
Make sure you keep an eye out for any warning sign of dengue fever so that you don't find it hard to manage its symptoms while it is in its early stages. Prevention, as we know, is far better than cure. Ensure that you often consult your doctor before you use any form of medication, vitamins, and topical creams included. If you discover the symptoms refuse to go, then you should contact a doctor.