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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 14 Oct 2015
Given the increasing resistance of microbes to traditional medicine, a greater number of malicious pathogens carrying diseases exist in today’s world, more than ever before. One such ailment that continues to hound both patients and doctors alike, is the Dengue virus, which has seen over 27 thousand cases in India since the start of 2015 according to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. We prepare a brief summary on how to detect the onset of Dengue and the steps one can take to tackle it!
Before the symptoms…prevention!
Dengue is a virus that is transmitted through Aedes Egypti mosquitos which act as carriers of the virus. While these insects are known to bite the most around sunset and sunrise, one can take steps such as wearing full-sleeved clothing, avoid areas with stagnant water and use repellent sprays. This is particularly important if one works outdoors for the better part of the day. Moreover, maintaining a healthy diet can reduce the chances of contracting the virus, as it preys on people with compromised immune systems.
- Symptoms begin about 3-15 days after one is bitten. They include body chills, headaches, ocular pain, loss of appetite and lower back pain.
- Swollen lymph nodes, rashes and extreme temperatures (such as 104 C) are common.
- For one to two weeks, erratically appearing fever and body pain is characteristic of Dengue.
- Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of fever which typically afflicts children under 10 years of age and can be life-threatening.
Combatting the virus
Like most tropical diseases, dengue is a bane of Asian countries, as the climate is conducive to breeding mosquitos. As India has already seen several dengue epidemics in the past, it is imperative to quickly act upon the symptoms, if any. The treatment for the disease is symptomatic since it is virus-bred and thus no specific antidote is in circulation for dealing with it. However, a clear set of steps exist, namely:
- Keeping the patient in isolation to rest and cope with the symptoms. The isolation must include protection from mosquitos. (This reduces the chances of spreading to others, since the virus can only be carried by mosquitos)
- Regular fluid intake is crucial. As in any disease, the presence of fresh water in our systems helps invigorate the affected organs and flushes out the pathogen over time.
- Pain relievers like aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should be administered in supervised or prescribed doses to alleviate the swelling and pain that one experiences.
- Mild antibiotics like codeine or Tylenol may aid in reducing headaches and muscular pain.
- For those who are mistrustful of antibiotics, prolonged rest and isolation is the best bet to get over the symptom and for the pathogen to exit the body.
Dengue is a serious problem that can lead to expensive hospitalization. Insuring your loved ones and yourself well to deal with any such unannounced setback is a good idea, but you must check if your health insurance plan covers a contingency like Dengue. Check out Royal Sundaram’s Lifeline Health Insurance Plan and be prepared well in advance
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