DENgue or dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that leads to severe flu-like diseases. It is caused by any of the four viruses closely related to dengue. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 5,00,000 people worldwide are hospitalised every year with dengue, and among them, approximately 2.5% of such cases are fatal. Dengue fever symptoms are commonplace in the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia, Africa, and it is now spreading in America and the Caribbean as well.
The dengue virus has 4 different serotypes, DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. Under every serotype, different genotypes have been identified, and among them, the genotypes of DEN-2 and DEN-3 are often associated with severe dengue accompanying secondary infections.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector that transmits the dengue virus. These viruses are passed to humans when a female Aedes aegypti mosquito bites a human.
Once infected, humans become the carriers of this virus for unaffected mosquitoes. The virus circulates in the blood for 2-7 days, and during this time, humans suffer from a fever and other dengue symptoms.
Individuals affected by this virus develop symptoms closely related to flu. Also known as ‘break-bone’ fever, it can affect anyone requiring immediate diagnosis. Signs and symptoms of dengue are classified into two types –
- General dengue fever, when patients suffer from fever and develop symptoms like –
- Severe headache.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pain behind the eyes.
- Swollen joints.
- Muscle and joint pain.
These dengue fever symptoms last for 2-7 days after an incubation period of 4-10 days. But they can take a severe shaper 3-7 days after the initial symptoms along with the following signs –
- Severe abdominal pain.
- Rapid breathing.
- Persistent vomiting.
- Blood in vomit.
- Bleeding gums.
- Fatigue and restlessness.
A quick blood test can determine a dengue infection, and it will find out the virus or antibodies. Individuals who feel the above mentioned symptoms should contact their doctor or visit any local medical facility immediately.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever symptoms. So, apart from seeking medical advice, patients should take rest and drink a lot of fluid. Individuals can take paracetamol to reduce fever and joint pains. But for severe dengue patients, it is essential to admit them to a nearest medical facility and be kept under regular observation. Even though severe dengue has a high fatality rate, victims who are able to receive required healthcare treatment have survived.
Dengue treatment can incur a significant expense so that patients can opt for a Dengue Insurance Cover provided by insurance aggregators like Bajaj Finserv under their Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. Availing a policy like this covers patients from hospitalisation expenses up to Rs.50,000 along with doctor’s fees, diagnosis fee, etc.
Individuals can also avail an infection cover to financially protect them against other various infectious diseases akin to dengue.
As there is no particular treatment available for dengue, the best way to deal with it is to employ preventive measures of dengue. These measures are –
- Keeping the house and its premises clean to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
- Properly disposing of solid waste.
- Cleaning water storages regularly.
- Using mosquito repellent cream, mosquito nets etc. for personal protection.
- Creating awareness about dengue and educating people about dengue.
Engaging prevention tactics is the only way to eradicate this disease from its roots. If anyone is displaying dengue fever symptoms, the ideal thing to do is to take them to the nearest hospital and admit them immediately. Individuals can opt for a hospital cash cover to avail extra financial coverage in these situations.