Have you heard about the break bone fever that is slowly infecting people and spreading far and wide? Dengue or dandy fever or break bone fever is an acute viral disease, that is spread by a bite of the female Aedes mosquito and which has crossed all borders and reached out globally. The infection is actually spread by a “daytime” mosquito that is active from morning to evening, but retreats at night. A single mosquito bite is sufficient to transmit the deadly dengue virus into an innocent victim.
The illness stays latent in the body for a few days and then shows up as excruciating headaches, backache, exhaustion, high fever, itchy rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and vomiting, severe joint and muscle pain. The platelet count starts to fall drastically and the patient can complain of severe pain behind eyes, bleeding gums and red colored soles and palms.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever can be fatal as this causes hemorrhaging in the body along with the rest of the symptoms. The patient may show purple patches beneath skin, black stools, bleeding from gums or nose, small red dots on skin, gets bruised easily etc. This condition cannot be ignored and needs rapid medical attention. In some cases, Intensive care hospitalization may also be recommended as this state can lead to patient’s death because of dengue shock syndrome. Dengue shock syndrome becomes evident as heavy bleeding, intense stomach pain, hypotension, disorientation, leakage of fluids from body organs and blood vessels.
The stronger the immune system the easier it is to fight the infection, but dengue can take a nasty turn in delicate people who have a compromised immune system. About five different stereotype dengue viruses exist so it is no surprise that the same person gets engulfed by dengue a number of times. But immunity to the stereotype that the patient has been exposed to once remains throughout life.
No specific treatment is adhered to and the focus of the medical fraternity is mainly on treating symptoms and providing symptomatic relief. In dengue patients, it is imperative to keep the body hydrated with lots of fluids. No painkillers or aspirin are recommended as this can cause bleeding of blood vessels. In dengue hemorrhaging fever, it is important to prevent the person from going into shock, and the blood pressure from falling much below normal. The patient may be given supplementary fluids and blood transfusion.
Preventive measures are considered more effective as this will stop the spreading of the dengue from one person to another. Dengue is not a contagious disease and it is spread when the same infected mosquito bites two different people. Using mosquito repellants and mosquito repellent creams are preferred.
Home remedies like green papaya leaf brews and a medicine prepared out of papaya leaf extract is normally recommended to keep the platelets in the normal range. People also rely on the ayurvedic medications like Giloy to increase platelet counts. Anti-vomiting pills are often given to keep the vomiting under control.