National Dengue Day
National Dengue Day 2023 is observed on May 16th across the nation. The Ministry of Health and family welfare formally launches National Dengue Day in India. National Dengue Day, also known as Dengue Prevention Day, aims to highlight the disease and its impact and to educate people about the precautionary measures to prevent dengue in the communities. According to the 2021 reports, it has been estimated that over 1.5 lakh dengue cases have occurred in India. In 2023, and as of March 9th, 380 171 cases and 113 deaths have been reported worldwide. This year's theme, "Fight Dengue, Save Lives," aims to raise awareness, educate communities, and bring up collective action. Today's blog will educate about dengue, its complications, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures.
What Is Dengue
"Prevent Mosquito, Stop Dengue"
Dengue is an infection by a virus that is caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Different viral serotypes cause dengue, such as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. Dengue gets transmitted to humans through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It affects millions yearly, causing extreme illness, worsening symptoms, and even fatalities. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled dengue fever as one of the fastest-growing vector-borne diseases.
Any person affected with dengue develops symptoms within 3-14 days. Dengue is otherwise called "break-bone fever," as it tends to cause severe joint pain. Even though the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the infection, let's know about some common signs and symptoms of dengue:
- High fever
- Pain behind the eyes
- Skin rashes
- Joint and muscle pain
- Persistent headache
- Vomiting and nausea
- Bleeding gums
Although these are mild symptoms, dengue can become a severe infection if left untreated.
Complications Of Dengue:
Dengue Shock Syndrome: An unusual complication of dengue occurs due to high fever, which causes rupture of the blood vessels and damage to the lymphatic vessels. Blood vessel rupture leads to massive bleeding resulting in complete blood circulation failure. Worsened with this condition, the patient may develop a liver enlargement and cardiac complications.
- Dengue NS-1(non-specific protein) is a rapid antigen test to be done within the first five days of the onset of the symptoms. The results cannot be accurate if the test is conducted after five days of the disease onset.
- IgM antibody test is a confirmatory test that will be recommended if you are experiencing the symptoms for more than five days. It is a test that can find the presence of anti-dengue antibodies. The presence of IgM antibodies confirms the dengue infection.
- The IgG antibody test can detect the secondary infection, and this test can be performed after 15 days as the IgG level rises slowly.
- A complete blood count will also be needed to know the platelet counts and other blood parameters since dengue infection can cause a reduction in platelet counts.
Treatment Options For Dengue
- Antipyretic drugs can be prescribed by your doctor, which brings down the high temperature and curbs the body's pain.
- Stay hydrated; ensure you consume at least 3 liters of water daily. In severe cases, intravenous fluids will be administered to prevent dehydration.
- Papaya juice a day: The doctor may prescribe some formulations of papaya extract, such as syrup or tablets. Otherwise, you can either consume 2-3 glasses of plain papaya fruit juice or take a bowl of papaya fruit. However, it is best to drink papaya leaf juice to combat dengue fever. Studies show that papaya leaf contains flavonoids, carotenes, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent further depletion of red blood cells and boost the platelet count rapidly within 24 hours. In addition to platelets, papaya leaf extract can increase white blood cells and red blood cell numbers. Consuming pomegranate juice can also help in restoring the blood cells.
- Blood transfusion may be needed if there is a severe drop in blood counts, i.e., < 10,000 cells (normal level is 1.5-4.5 lakhs cells µL).
Tips To Protect From Dengue
- Apply mosquito repellent; it is advised to use those repellent creams that contain at least 10% of DEET (N, N -Diethyl meta toluamide) content.
- Wear long sleeves and fully-covered clothes to avoid exposing your skin to mosquitoes.
- Covering your home and rooms with insecticide-treated net screens and doors is a safe practice to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Take a step forward to detect and clean all the mosquito breeding sites, such as water pits, wet garbage, clogged drains, flower vases, and tires, since stagnant water is the hotspot for the growth of mosquitoes.
- Avoid solid perfumes and fragrances, as they can attract mosquitoes.
- It is crucial to protect the infected person from mosquitoes to prevent the spread of infection to others.
- The caretakers of dengue patients should be aware that they may contract the infection if they do not follow any precautions, as the infected person can transmit the disease within 4- 5 days.
"Detect and destroy the breeding sites to defeat dengue."
On this National Dengue Day 2023, let's become environmentally more conscious and work collectively to defeat the dangerous dengue. National Dengue Day is celebrated with the objectives like raising awareness, strengthening the healthcare system, promoting prevention, improving surveillance and reporting, empowering communities, foster collaboration, research, and innovation to reduce the cases of dengue fever. On this day, let us unite to protect lives and create a world where dengue infection exists as a faint memory. Together, we can make a difference.