Dengue is a viral infection caused by the mosquito "Aedes aegypti". This mosquito-borne disease causes flu-like illness which can get serious and lethal if not treated instantly. Over the past 50 years, it has increased 30 folds and now almost everyone is vulnerable to this disease.
The main vector of dengue Aedes Aegypti breeds in artificial containers found in homes. Its life cycle is about seven days. Humans become the main carrier and multipliers of the virus once they are affected or bitten by the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and then they serve as a source of virus for uninfected mosquitoes. So it becomes necessary to prevent the breeding of the dengue causing mosquito and protect humans from getting affected.
The virus with which the dengue causing mosquito affects us are mainly of four different serotypes- DEN1, DEN1, DEN3, DEN4. They belong to the genus Flavivirus of family Flaviviridae.
The virus circulates in the body of the affected person for 2 to 7 days and the symptoms appear within the four or five days, maximum twelve days.
The symptoms of dengue fever are a severe headache, sudden high fever, severe joint and muscle pain, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin rash, and sometimes mild bleeding too.
To control or prevent the transmission of dengue causing mosquito we need to do the following-
1. We need to keep our home and our surroundings clean. If everything is clean, then there is no scope of mosquitoes to breed.
2. Dengue mosquitoes breed in freshwater. So we must not let the water stagnate. We must store water in empty containers. We must change the water in flower pots, vases and bowls on alternate days. Wells, clogged drains, manholes, septic tanks etc need to be checked and cleaned regularly.
3. We also need to dispose of solid waste properly and prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs by keeping everything clean.
4. We must apply/spray insecticides on a regular basis to get rid of the mosquitoes in our home and surroundings. We must apply insecticides in water storage outdoor containers too.
5. Mosquito coils, incense sticks, vaporizer etc should be used to protect ourselves from mosquitoes inside our homes. Mosquito repellent ointments should be applied to the exposed part of the skin if we plan to go out. Permethrin is one such repellent.
6. Wear full clothes or cover your body completely when you go to a mosquito-infested area.
7. Make sure that the doors and window screens don't have holes in them.
8. Change the water in outdoor birdbaths and water dishes of pets on a regular basis.
9. If possible, use air conditioning instead of letting fresh air come inside the room. Because with air, mosquitoes too enter the room. It is advised to use mosquito nets if one can't afford air conditioning facility.
10. Organize meeting and consultations with friends and neighbours to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes that cause serious diseases.
Also, we cannot prevent dengue fever. We can, though, prevent the mosquito from causing the dengue fever. There is no specific medicine as of yet to treat dengue fever. Pain relievers with acetaminophen are advised to take if you think you have a dengue fever but you must not jump to conclusions on your own. You must visit a doctor instead of becoming a doctor only by knowing the symptoms.
Avoid medicines with aspirin because patients often bleed thought mildly when diagnosed ith dengue and it will worsen the bleeding. Drink plenty of fluids, rest and visit your doctor on a regular basis.
Recently, the FDA approved a vaccine called Dengvaxia to help prevent the disease from occurring in the kids and teens of 9 to 16 years of age who have already been affected by dengue. And there is no vaccine as of yet to protect the general population from contracting this disease.
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