Dengue Fever: What Is It And How You Can Prevent It
If you live in a tropical country where mosquitoes are quite prevalent, dengue fever is a normal occurrence during the rainy season. Also known as the breakbone fever, the dengue fever is a mosquito-borne infection brought forth by the Aedes mosquitoes, which is characterized by flu-like symptoms. Patients of dengue fever may either suffer from mild or severe symptoms.
When a person has dengue fever, the best thing to do is to manage its symptoms and prevent it from progressing. For the treatment to be effective, however, early clinical diagnosis is utterly important. Dengue fever is also classified as a bloodborne disease, which means transmission through the blood is a possibility. You may know more about the nature of bloodborne diseases by reading articles from Bloodborne Pathogens and other similar sites.
In this article, you’ll have all of the information you’ll need to know about what dengue fever is and how you can prevent it.
A Brief Background On The Dengue Fever
Here’s everything you have to know about the dengue fever:
- Signs And Symptoms Of Dengue Fever
The early signs of dengue fever start to show at least four to six days after acquiring the virus. In total, the patient may experience its symptoms for ten to 14 days. The most common signs include:
- Severe body ache, particularly backache
- Sudden, high fever
- Severe headache
- Poor eating habits or appetite
- Skin rashes
- Signs And Symptoms Of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
What starts off as mild may gradually worsen in just a few days. An ordinary dengue fever can progress into dengue hemorrhagic fever.
When you’re treated in the hospital for your mild dengue fever, the medical staff will be on the lookout for signs of dengue hemorrhagic fever. When, with the supervision of your doctor, you’re treating dengue fever at home, then you have to be on the lookout for the signs of your case progressing into dengue hemorrhagic fever. These signs include:
- Weak pulse
- Bleeding in the nose, mouth, and gums
- Spots under the skin
- Clammy skin
- Sensitive stomach
- Low platelet count
- Dengue Thrives In Tropical And Sub-Tropical Climates
The number of dengue fever cases is significantly higher in countries identified as having tropical to sub-tropical climates. This, however, doesn’t mean that outbreaks can’t happen in non-tropical countries. The risk is just higher in countries with warm weather conditions as it’s the type of climate best favored by mosquitoes to thrive in. Such places include:
- Central and South America, except Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay
- Southeast Asia
- Southern China
- The Caribbean, except the Cayman Islands and Cuba
- The Pacific Islands.
How You Can Prevent Dengue Fever
Finishing the information above, these are some of the tips on how you can prevent dengue fever.
- Use a mosquito repellant. During the rainy season, make it a habit always to use a mosquito repellant. You should have this readily available at home, both for kids and adults. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the higher the concentration, the more longer lasting it is. Apart from anti-mosquito lotions and sprays commonly seen in the market, there are now other emerging types, too, including:
- Mosquito patches. These are mosquito stickers that can be placed on the back of your clothing. Mosquito patches are non-toxic and are generally safe to use for children and babies.
- Repellant bands. These are silicone bands that are infused with citronella to prevent mosquito attacks.
- Don’t let water stand. This means not leaving any stagnant water. Dengue-carrying mosquitoes can breed in clean standing water. If you don’t have standing water anywhere your home, you’re also effectively reducing the risk of getting sick with dengue as you aren’t giving the mosquitoes a home to thrive in.
- Wear full protective clothing. At night, it’s best to sleep in a closed, air-conditioned room, or, at least, any room that’s secured with screens. If you’re to go out in a place where there are lots of mosquitoes, be sure to have protective clothing on. This is as simple as wearing jeans in favor of shorts.
Given that dengue fever can be quite serious and fatal, it’s very important to get your facts straight about the disease. While you may have very little control as to how mosquitoes can spread and become carriers of this viral infection, there are many things you can do at home or while outdoors to prevent getting infected.
With the information you’re now equipped with after going through all the information above, you should now be more confident to determine if you’re already experiencing the signs of dengue. Remember that if left untreated, dengue can easily progress into a fatal infection. Most importantly, while prevention begins at home, treatment doesn’t. When the early signs of dengue arise, be sure to see a doctor immediately.