The World Health Organization (WHO), ranked dengue as the most critical mosquito-borne viral disease worldwide. Over the past 50 years, the disease has rapidly spread with a 30-fold increase globally.
Dengue is a human virus primarily transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It can be classified into four serotypes, where all of them can cause disease amongst human beings. Serotypes are group of microorganisms that are closely related.
In more than 100 countries, over 40 per cent of the world’s population is at a risk of dengue fever. In 2017, India witnessed a rise of 11,832 dengue cases. Amongst the total cases, over 18,000 people were affected by the vector-borne disease in Kolkata that year. A number of deaths were recorded in the city, which doctors attribited to dengue.
A consultant from AMRI Hospital said, “Symptoms of viral fever are very close to that of dengue. So, we are recommending blood tests to rule out dengue to all patients suffering from fever with allied symptoms like headache, body ache, nausea and weakness. Especially, if the symptoms don’t recede within 2-3 days, a dengue test must be done.”
SYMPTOMS OF THE DENGUE VIRUS
Mostly, people infected with the dengue virus show mild or symptoms. Only 1 out of 4 infected people get sick. Most of them confuse such mild symptoms with other flu-like illnesses. Doctors of the best hospitals in Kolkata highlighted the most common symptoms of the virus:
- Fever for 3 to 7 days
- Intense headache
- Muscle, joint, or bone pain
- Eye pain (typically behind the eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
- Unusual bleeding (this may include, nose or gum bleed, unusual bruising, or small red spots under the skin)
WAYS TO PREVENT:
Specialist from the best hospitals in Kolkata recommend controlling fever and pain with paracetamol, rather than aspirin, besides increasing fluid intake. They also highlighted that aspirin may aggravate bleeding. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the vector-borne disease:
- Preventing infected people from schools, colleges or workplaces is not necessary. However, they must always avoid any environment where they are prone to getting bitten by mosquitoes
- The infection of dengue virus cannot be prevented by any vaccine
- Environmental management of mosquitoes and personal protection is crucial in preventing the dengue virus from speading
- An infected person with fever must be prevented from environments infested with Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes
- People should strive to protect themselves from mosquito bites at all times, especially in dengue-hit areas
Experts from the best hospitals in Kolkata, including AMRI Hospital and Belle Vue, among others, suggest that as the virus is spreading in the city, people must take all the necessary precautions.