Dengue fever is a mosquito borne very painful, viral disease which is more common in tropical countries like Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, Pacific Islands, Mexico and Africa. It is transmitted through the bite of female Aedes Aegypti mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito when bites a person with dengue virus in their blood, the person get infected.
Dengue fever does not spread from one person to another via physical contact. The Dengue patient should remain under some form of protective mosquito netting for long enough to circumvent the risk of spreading the illness. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in the house.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Dengue fever symptoms are often mistaken as that of flu or other viral infections. Most common symptoms include sudden high fever, severe intense headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue, low blood pressure, body aches, severe joint and muscle pains, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, blood in stool or urine, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes that appears two to five days after the onset of fever and even mucosal bleeding, bleeding from nose, gums or easy bruising. In case of severe dengue, the symptoms like abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, fluid accumulation are visible. Such cases require emergency treatment.
Dengue Shock Syndrome is a term used when symptoms progress to massive bleeding, shock and death.
Important Tips to Prevent Dengue
The best way to prevent oneself from Dengue Fever is by preventing being bitten by the infected mosquitoes. Dengue can be prevented by keeping the surroundings clean.Some easy tips that one needs to keep in mind, if living in tropical regions are mentioned below:
- The Dengue mosquito, mostly attacks during the day (mostly during sun rise and sunset hours) and typically bite below the elbows or knees. So, when outdoors, prefer to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants with tucked into socks and try to stay away from heavily populated residential areas. When indoors, use air conditioning (if available).
- Use mosquito repellents even when you are indoors. It is important to make sure that windows and door screens are secure and free from any holes. Mosquito repellents should be applied on the exposed skin only and not under the clothing.
- Mosquito nets should be used while sleeping if there are no screens or air conditioning.
- Try to eliminate all possible breeding places of the mosquitoes in the neighborhood. Get rid of old tires, cans or flower pots that collect rain water. Fill pit holes, cover water containers and septic tanks, ensure that gutters and drains are not clogged and dispose garbage properly and regularly.
- Plants like feverfew, citronella, catnip and lavenderhave mosquito repellant properties. These should be planted around the house to keep mosquitoes away.
Home Remedies to Treat Dengue
There are some home remedies that can help treat dengue fever:
Turmeric should be consumed in warm milk on daily basis before going to bed. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is also known to boost metabolism and make the healing process faster.
2. Tulsi/Basil Leaves in Water with Some Black Pepper
Tulsi combined with black pepper acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial element that can help eliminate the dengue virus. It is advised to prepare a drink by boiling some Tulsi leaves and adding a pinch of Black Pepper to it, this drink helps in building the immunity.
3. Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek is known to reduce fever and act as a sedative to ease pain for the patients suffering from Dengue. It is advised to drink solution made using Fenugreek leaves (by soaking them in water)two to three times a day.
4. Juice of Giloy Herb
It may be consumed one to two times a day. It is prepared by boiling the stems, leaves or Giloy extract in the water. The juice helps in maintaining the metabolic rate, strengthens the immune system and protects the body against infections. Some Tulsi leaves may also be added to the juice for best results. Giloy helps in increasing the platelet count that gets reduced due to dengue fever.
5. Papaya leaf juice
Papaya leaves are rich in Vitamin C, and Phenolic compounds, Papain and alkaloids which act as strong antioxidants and thus help in boosting body’s immunity and improving blood platelet count. They are also enriched with anti-malarial properties and can help with dengue symptoms like body ache, chills, nausea, fatigue etc. The juice or pulp of papaya also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body. Papaya juice can be prepared by crushing some papaya leaves and squeezing its extract or mixing it with some honey or fruit juice. One may prepare papaya juice by boiling some leaves of papaya and straining to get the drink.
It is advised to consume two spoons of papaya leaf extract two to three times a day.
6. Fruits, Vegetables and Juices
Fresh fruits and vegetables like oranges or orange juice, aloe vera, pomegranate juice, lemons or lemon juice, kiwi or kiwi juice, apple or apple juice, guava or guava juice, strawberries, and coconut water should be consumed by the person suffering from dengue fever.
7. Neem Leaves
Neem leaves, fresh coriander leaves can be taken in the form of tonic to reduce dengue fever.
8. Pre-Boiled Goat Milk
Pre-boiled Goat milk is recommended for Dengue patients as it is rich in Selenium which is needed for proper functioning of immune system and is a key nutrient in counteracting the development of viruses in Dengue patient. Goat milk is also known to increase the blood platelet count naturally and significantly. It also aids in digestive and metabolic utilization of minerals like iron and calcium.
There is no vaccine available for Dengue virus and neither any specific treatment for dengue fever. One needs to take adequate fluids, drink as much water as possible to keep the body hydrated and replace the fluid loss and take complete bed rest. The duration of recovery varies from person to person. Most patients recover completely within two weeks.
Early detection and access to proper care is the best way to faster recovery.