Dengue is one of the many viral diseases transmitted by the mosquito. The disease commonly breaks out in explosive epidemics that spread with amazing rapidity as seen in the year 2011 in Lahore, the second big city of Pakistan. The disease has affected all warm parts of the world such as Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Central Africa, Central America, and China. It is a disease of monkeys transmitted to them by forest dwelling mosquitoes.
Outbreaks in human population presumably began when some of these mosquitoes got the virus from monkeys and made away to human villages where they started breading. Hence infected human beings carried the disease to cities where Aides took over as the vector.
We should be aware that Dengue fever also known as break bone fever is acute febrile diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are breed in the tropics, can be life-threatening. These mosquitoes are caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. The mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn. These mosquitoes may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy.
Signs and symptoms
After an infected mosquito`s bite, incubation period of 4-7 days is required before the symptoms appear in the patient. The signs and symptoms of different types of dengue are following:
Types of dengue fever
Asymptomatic or Undifferentiated fever
This is a type of fever which represents flu-like symptoms with mild fever
Dengue fever (DF)
The temperature rises above 102 F with serve headache, backache, pain at the back of the eyes and joints, with nausea and vomiting.
Dengue Hemorrhagic fever (DHF)
It occurs in less than 5% of the patients. This is accompanied by extensive leakage of plasma. Very few cases show bleeding from nose, gums, and rashes on the skin. There may be a decrease in heart rate, weak pulse and cool extremities. There is a rapid decrease in the white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets. In some cases this may lead to DSS.
Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS)
When a Dengue patient experience shock, he has Dengue shock syndrome. Both DHF and DSS patients need strict hospital monitoring and intensive care.
Precaution measures to be safe
All water from room cooler should be taken out. Don’t let the water get accumulated near the plants and inside plant pots. Cover your face and body at dawn and dusk. Apply anti mosquito lotion on the uncovered parts of your body. Cover your body and face while walking in the garden and park. Use anti mosquito spray in the house at evening. Don’t let the people dumped garbage near your house. Cover your saved water pots. Keep the old tyres of vehicles in proper shape so that rain water does not get accumulated in them.
“The Srilankan team that visited Pakistan said that dengue has just started in Pakistan and it will increase in coming days but the good news is that 95% cases of dengue will not be deadly, only 5% needs extra attention of doctors. So don’t be scared if you got fever. Don’t rush to hospital for test until you feel that your fever is not going despite taking normal fever medicines. On top of all, if you got dengue PLEASE DO NOT STOP EATING, TAKE JUICES AND EAT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.”