Dengue Fever is a disease spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and is caused by one of four dengue viruses. Once you are infected with one of denge viruses, you will develop immunity to that virus for the rest of your life. However, you can still be infected with other 3 viruses.
It is a mosquito borne illness that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Mild dengue fever causes a high fever and flu like symptoms. The severe form of denge fever, also called dengue haemorrhagic fever, can cause serious bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure and death. Dengue fever is most common in South East Asia, the western pacific islands, latin America and Africa.
Dengue fever symptoms may be mistaken with other illnesses-such as the flu and usually begins 4-10 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. Dengue fever causes –
• Muscle or joint pain
• Pain behind the eyes
• Skin rashes
Most people recover within a week or so ,but in some cases, symptoms worsen and can become life threatening, this is called severe dengue or dengue haemorrhagic fever.
Severe dengue happens when your blood vessels become damaged and leaky and the number of platelets (clot forming cells) in your bloodstream drops. This can lead to shock, internal bleeding, organ failure and even death.
The emergency warning sign usually begins the first day or after two days of your fever goes away and may include –
• severe stomach pain
• persistent vomitting
• bleeding from your gums or nose
• blood in your urine, stool or vomit
• bleeding under the skin which might look like bruising
• difficult or rapid breathing
Dengue is caused by any one of four types of dengue viruses. You can’t get dengue fever from being around an infected person, instead, it is spread through mosquito bites.
When a mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus ,the virus enters the mosquito. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another person, the virus enters that person’s bloodstream and causes an infection.
Risk Factors –
• If you live or travel in tropical areas, risk of dengue fever increases.
• If you have previous infection with a this virus, it increases your risk of severe symptoms if you get it again.
Severe dengue fever can cause internal bleeding and organ damage. Blood pressure can drop to dangerous levels, causing shock and even death.
Women who get dengue fever during pregnancy may be able to spread the virus to the baby during childbirth.
• Vaccine – In dengue prone areas of the world, one dengue fever vaccine (dengraxia) is approved for people ages 9-45 yrs who have already had dengue fever at least once. The vaccine is given in 3 doses over the course of 12 months.
• Prevent mosquito bites by –
*Wear protective full sleeve clothing
*Use mosquito repellent
*Stay in air conditioned or well screened housing
*Reduce mosquito habitat
It’s diagnosis is difficult as the sign and symptoms are usually confused with diseases – like Chickengunya, Zika virus, malaria and typhoid fever
A sample of blood to be tested in a lab for evidence of infection can confirm it.
No specific treatment for this fever exists.
The over the counter (OTC) drug Acetaminophen can help reduce muscle pain and fever. If you have it you should avoid other OTC pain relievers including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. These pain relievers can increase the risk of bleeding complications. If severe dengue fever occur, you may need –
• Hospital support
• IV fluid and electrolyte replacement
• BP monitoring
• Transfusion to replace blood loss
Ayurvedic Perspective –
In Ayurveda dengue fever is known as dandak jwara.
Line of treatment –
• Langhana (Fasting)
• Deepana (Appetising)
• Pachana (Digestive)
• Mridu swedan (Mild sweat therapy)
Useful Herbs –
• Guduchi – It increases immunity of body to fight against infection.
• Amalaki – It pacify all three aggravated doshas.
• Wheat grass – It increases immunity and maintain haemoglobin in haemorrhagic condition.
• Rasona –
• Tulsi – It has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
• Papaya leaves – It is best known herb to increase number of platelets.
• Shunthi –
Beneficial Medications –
• Guduchyadi kasaya
• Sanjivani vati
• Sutshekar ras
• Sudarshan churna
• Giloy sat
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