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Gearing Up For Dengue, Chikungunya: Here's All You Need To Know

So far, a total of 32 cases of dengue have been reported this year.

Gearing Up For Dengue, Chikungunya: Here's All You Need To Know

The monsoons in the city are yet to arrive but the rising humidity levels have resulted in a sudden spurt of dengue and chikungunya cases in the last few days.

Following a meeting on Saturday on issues related to outbreak of vector-borne diseases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda requesting him to reserve 10% of beds in central government-run hospitals for the treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients.

In his letter to Mr. Nadda, the Chief Minister has also requested him to conduct research to find some measures to get rid of the disease-spreading mosquitoes and ensure effective treatment of the patients. There is also need for household visits to check possible mosquitoes breeding points, desilting of drains to prevent waterlogging during Monsoon, comprehensive citizen awareness campaigns, observance of “dry days” once a week by all residents, during which water coolers and flower pots would be thoroughly checked to ensure there is no possibility of mosquitoes breeding.

In this scenario, what can be done? What steps can common citizens take? Dengue is a tropical disease that originates from four different viruses. Carried by the Aedes egypti mosquito, symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains as well as skin rash. While there is currently no vaccine for dengue, it can be prevented by improving hygiene levels and prevention of mosquito breeding.

What are the most commonly associated symptoms that could be associated with the onset of Dengue?
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Skin rash
  • High fever reaching 40°C/ 104°F

Why are some people more susceptible to Dengue?
  • They live in a high-risk zone which has dingy, unclean surroundings with stagnant water that encourages mosquito breeding
  • Some of them have been infected with dengue before
  • They have low immunity
  • Their platelet count is low

Make a diagnosis assessing:
  • The temperature
  • Associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting
  • Rash and general pain

The common tests for dengue
  • Complete Blood Count
  • ELISA test for dengue NS1 Ag
  • PCR for detecting viral DNA
  • Serum IgG and IgM test

Suggested Treatment
  • Please seek medical advice immediately if common symptoms persist
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Symptomatic relief can be sought using NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as paracetamol
  • Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen since they can increase the risk of bleeding
  • Follow instructions of medical practitioners diligently

If Dengue fever progresses to dengue shock syndrome, look out for these symptoms and visit your nearest hospital immediately:
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Myalgia
  • Fluid accumulation in the liver
  • Hemorrhages
  • Nausea
  • Fluid accumulation in the chest
  • Headache

How to prevent dengue
  • Make sure all egg-laying habitats of mosquitoes, such as open and stagnant water sources are cleaned up
  • If there are any open water sources you cannot eliminate, cover them and apply appropriate insecticides
  • Use protections such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide-treated materials, coils, vaporizers and repellant creams to avoid being bitten by mosquitos
  • A person can suffer from dengue a second time if the viral strain is different from the initial infection. So ensure adequate protection.

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