Check out this list of best health tips to avoid dengue during the rainy season
For any disease, prevention is better than cure and same is the case with dengue as sudden onset of high fever, severe headaches, severe muscle pain, rash, appetite loss and fatigue are common symptoms. Doctors reveal a list of some precautions and preventive measures
Dengue is one of the viral infections caused by the bite of the female mosquito and the irregular rainfall and increase in humidity during monsoon lead to a spike in cases of dengue. The fever caused due to dengue could also prove to be life-threatening in severe cases (Dengue shock syndrome, Dengue Haemorrhagic fever) and this fever is a yearly occurrence in many tropical and subtropical regions like India, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, Mexico and Central America where around 500,000 people are affected by the disease every year and the mortality rate is 2.5%.
When the mosquito infects a person, the virus circulates in the blood for 2-7 days which is the amount of time the fever takes to develop. If the dengue fever already infects a person, the disease can be transmitted when the first symptoms appear, which usually takes 4-5 days after you are bitten but people who recover from dengue fever are permanently immune to the disease.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Amrita Singh, Chief of Lab Services in Delhi's Neuberg Diagnostics, shared, “In the case of mild dengue fever, teens and children may not experience any symptoms when bitten by the mosquito. Whereas, in adults, the symptoms normally begin after 4-5 days of the mosquito bite. The first symptom of Dengue is usually a very high fever of 104 F, followed by a headache.”
She revealed, “Sudden onset of high fever, severe headaches, severe muscle pain (which is often referred to as break-bone fever), rash, appetite loss, and fatigue are a few of the common symptoms of dengue fever. Using mosquito repellents is one of the best ways to prevent dengue.” Dr Amrita Singh suggested the following tips on how to prevent dengue fever during monsoon:
1. Use Mosquito Repellent - Applying mosquito repellent creams is one of the most efficient ways to prevent Dengue fever. However, some people might react badly to the chemicals in cream repellents, so make sure you do a patch test first
2. Wear Protective Clothing - During monsoon, it is advisable to sleep in rooms with air-conditioning and windows covered with mosquito nets. Select clothes with long sleeves and long pants that cover the skin as much as possible. The less exposed skin you have, the lower your chances of getting bitten. It is also advisable to wear light-coloured clothing as this usually repels mosquitoes.
3. Use mosquito deterrents - Regularly sanitizing your house by using cleaning solutions and other deterrents helps to prevent dengue mosquitoes from entering your home. You can also add a drop of citronella or lemongrass to water before cleaning the floors as they repel mosquitoes. Sticking cloves in lemons and oranges can also deter mosquitoes and flies from entering the house because of the scent. Make sure to use insecticide-treated bed nets while sleeping and ensure the windows are sealed, so you don’t get bitten in your sleep.
4. Refrain from breeding grounds - Areas that are rife with grime, like stagnant pools, are more prone to mosquitoes breeding. Avoid unnecessary collection of dirt or filth, such as unwashed dishes or unclean floors.
5. Avoid smells that attract mosquitoes - Avoid using scented perfumes and shower often to be free from sweat.
6. Important screenings for Dengue - Different tests can be carried out on the patients to detect Dengue Fever. Complete Blood Count, CBC, NS1 dengue antigen, and Dengue IgM are the common tests conducted for Dengue. A significant decrease in platelet count along with haemoconcentration are some of the early manifestations of Dengue fever. Hence, regular monitoring of the patient is necessary.
Dr Mahanti Sreenu, Assistant Professor, Department of General Medicine at GIMSR in Visakhapatnam, highlighted, “The incidence of dengue fever is more during the rainy season due to increased mosquito breeding in wet areas. Mild forms of dengue fever can be treated symptomatically with proper hydration, rest and diet. Timely detection and seeking early doctor consultation is important in case of warning signs like vomiting, skin rash and other bleeding manifestations.”
For any disease, prevention is better than cure hence, he recommended some precautions and preventive measures to take in case of dengue fever:
1. Keep home and surrounding environment clean and dry. Do not give a chance for mosquitoes to breed. After rain, empty any stagnant water at your terrace or in the garden.
2. Avoid water logging around the house, plant containers and pots, air coolers, unused tins, buckets, tyres, utensils for feeding stray animals, etc.
3. Cover water containers properly. Empty and clean the water containers weekly.
4. Wear full coverage clothes, especially children.
5. Use mosquito repellents - coils and sprays. Try fumigation/fog your house if necessary.
6. Use medicated mosquito screens for doors and windows and mosquito nets while sleeping.
Asserting that there is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, Dr Aviral Roy, Consultant- Intensivist, Internal Medicine and Critical Care at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, insisted that it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as you are diagnosed and advised:
1. It is best to avoid the disease by controlling mosquito breeding in and around the house and neighbourhood.
2. Wear clothing that completely covers your body to avoid mosquito bites.
3. There should be no stagnant water near the house because it is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. There should be no water left in the tyre, pots, vase, pans or drums.
4. Installing mosquito netting on all windows
5. Applying mosquito repellent before leaving the house.
6. Closing doors and windows before sunset because mosquitoes are active in the evening.
7. Ensure there is no waste near the house and that the local fish population is healthy.
8. To boost immunity during dengue, consume a well-balanced diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and pulses should all be included in your diet. Limit your intake of junk, oily, canned, and processed foods, which can lower your resistance to illness or disease.