Dengue is a viral diseases transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This mosquito is known to bite during the day, and the virus is transmitted only when bitten by a female mosquito.
Clinical Signs and Symptoms:
Acute onset of fever for 2-7 days with two or more of the following symptoms
- Retro-orbital pain ( severe eye pain, behind the eyes)
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Arthralgia (joint pain )
- Hemorrhagic manifestations- bleeding from gums or nose
Watch out! Critical period is 3-5 days after onset of fever. In few patients, the smallest blood vessels (capillaries) may become excessively permeable (leaky) allowing fluid component to escape from blood vessel to body cavities. This may lead to failure of circulatory system and shock if properly not managed with fluid resuscitation.
Warning Signs! Immediate Medical attention and hospitalization is advised:
- Severe abdominal pain or persistent vomiting
- Red spots or patches on the skin
- Bleeding from nose and gums
- Vomiting of blood
- Black tarry stool
- Decrease urination
- Dry mouth, tongue or lips
- Sunken eyes
- Fast heart beat ( more than 100 )
- Drowsiness or irritability
- Pale cold or clammy skin
- Difficulty in breathing
Laboratory findings that help in diagnosis:
- Blood test: Reduced platelets or increased blood hematocrit indicate the likelihood of dengue
- NS1 antigen based assays: Enable in detecting Dengue antigen in blood within first 5 days of onset of symptoms
Things to be done when Dengue is suspected:
- Bed rest in acute phase
- Cold sponging for reducing fever
- Paracetamol for fever if required, interval of paracetamol dosage should not be less than six hours.
- Oral electrolyte therapy –if excessive sweating and vomiting
- Take plenty of fluids in form of fruit juices
Home remedies to increase platelet count:
- Tender papaya leaf is believed to be good in increasing the platelet count. Consume in form of juice extracted from the leaf.
- Increase intake of fruits such as Pomegranate, Papaya and Kiwi
- Beetroot and Carrot is also a good dietary source with high antioxidant and hemostatic properties and can raise platelet count in few days
So is Dengue fever fatal?
People who suffer from dengue fever have no risk of death but rarely some of them may develop dengue hemorrhage fever (DHF) or Dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Patient suspected to be suffering from DHF/DSS should be admitted to a hospital without delay.
How Integrated Medicine can help in prevention & cure of Dengue?
Alternate medicine such as Ayurveda & Homeopathy can help improving body’s immune system and reducing symptoms of nausea, fever, vomiting among-st others. Meanwhile, Allopathy can assist in offering immediate but temporary relief from fever and body pain.
Many patients suffer from joint pains, for months after the Dengue fever; Ayurveda & Homeopathy can help in treating and preventing the same.
Dr Rupali Bhanuse.