Dengue Fever... Facts, Symptoms and Preventive measures
Rainy season is the breeding season for dengue fever. This particular fever has been prevalent from the 19th century and as of today, there are about hundreds of countries impacted by this. In India, this is one of the most dreaded diseases particularly in Tamil Nadu.
Most unfortunately, fatal cases due to dengue are only on the increase inspite of efforts taken by the Health department . Dr.Devarajan, general physician gives lot of tips as to how to identify this fever, prevent and combat the same. He confirms that it is not the mere responsibility of the Government; rather people should
cooperate in implementing the control measures effectively.
Since it is caused by a virus known as ‘dengue’, it is called dengue fever. The origin of the word lies in Spanish term which means ‘bone-breaking fever’ wherein the pain would be excruciating.
Basically, there are four types of dengue. One particular type will attack a person only once and will not attack the next time, for, that person would have developed immunity against it. But at the same time, the other three types might attack any time.
How does it spread?
It is spread through mosquitoes only. It is Aedes Aegypti whose bite causes dengue fever within one week.
How does it not spread:?
It does not spread through water or air. Nor does it spread through one’s cough or sneeze.
Aedes mosquito will be black in colour. There will be white dots in its feathers. The female mosquito would only cause the dengue fever. After mating, they need the human proteins and hence will attempt to suck the blood from our body. It will lay its eggs in water on the third day. On the sixth day it will reach the stage of larvae. On the eleventh day it will mature and on the thirteenth day it will become a full-fledged mosquito. Depending upon the surroundings, its life span would be from 2 to 4 weeks.
Another unique factor is that this mosquito will breed not necessarily in dirty water or tank or pond but even in the side of good and pure water. Other mosquitoes will normally bite humans during night time while this Aedes mosquitoes will bite only during evening and day time.
Who are more vulnerable?
In general, it may attack any age group of individuals. Particularly, children and those whose immunity level is low may be attacked immediately.
Sudden fever up to 104 degrees, unbearable headache, pain in back of the eye etc. including reddening of eyes, inability to look at sunlight direct and red dots over body and on top of all, bone-breaking joint pain throughout the body are the symptoms for the attack of dengue.
When would it become fatal?
The victims of dengue would normally be cured within 7 days. For some whose immunity level is so low, it may become fatal by destroying the blood platelets. If the platelets are destroyed the blood flow can hardly be stopped and hence it will cause breakage of blood vessels in gum and urinal tract. At this stage, if proper medication is not given, it will lead to death of the patient.
What are the tests?
Early symptoms of dengue will deceive us because they are common for all types of virus diseases. If the fever persists for more than three days, we must take the patient to the clinic and do NS1 Ag, Dengue IgM or Dengue IGG blood tests. In general, our body will consist of 3 Lacs blood platelets. At the time of dengue attack, it may come down to less than 20,000. Hence we must do the platelet and Heamatocrit tests under the advice of the doctor for continuously three days.
While there is no specific treatment for dengue, the paracetomol for fever and a few medicines for body pain will be given. Some may experience dengue shock syndrome for which dextrose saline will be given. For those who have lost platelets will be given required quantity of blood platelets through intravenous system.
During the attack:-
Complete rest is a ‘must’. Water content-based food should be taken more. Adequate water should also be consumed. Milk, fruit juice, tender coconut and porridge like liquid diet are advised during the recovery period.
There is no preventive injection to do away with dengue. Only solution lies in eradicating mosquitoes by keeping our house and surroundings clean and hygiene. Stagnant water should be immediately removed by ourselves instead of endlessly waiting for corporation men to clean it up. All water containers should be properly closed so that mosquitoes will not breed.
Besides the above, we can fit mosquito net for all windows in the house. Cream can be used. Net can be used for bed. The entrance will be easier for the mosquitoes in the event of body sweat, release of carbon dioxide and heat. We can wear full sleeves made of cotton so that the whole body will be covered.
Ayurveda Dr.Balamurugan confirms that there is no reference about dengue before 11th century. Subsequently, there is a mention about ‘Thandaga fever’ whose symptoms are akin to that of dengue fever. Further Ayurvedam classifies the same as spreadable and not spreadable and this dengue fever occurs under
spreadable one being caused by venomous insects.
Nilavembu kazhayam, adathoda leaves essence and papaya leaves essence can be collected from Government siddha hospitals as well as siddha medicine shops which will be very efficient to increase the immunity level against dengue fever, according to both siddha and ayurvedic systems.
Ultimately, ayurvedic medicine also confirms that the root cause must be found out and eradicated. It is termed as ‘Nidhana Parivardhanameva Sikichcha’ according to which the only way is to eliminate the breeding of these types of mosquitoes.
Certain other sources:-
Vasa kuduthiyathi kazhayam is capable of increasing the platelets and reducing the fever. Adathoda leaves are the most vital ingredient to increase the platelets in the whole world.
Likewise, ‘Sudharsana chooranam’ can be used to cure any type of fever, cough and cold. This is available in siddha and ayurveda medicine shops as well. The main ingredient is nilavembu which will cure any type of fever.
Dr.Balamurugan declares that the above will increase the immunity level with its antiviral element. This can be taken both as curative and preventive potion by anyone.
(This article written by G Lakshmanan in Tamil has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)