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Dengue fever is an infectious disease transmitted by a mosquito and caused by any of the four related dengue viruses. It is also called “break bone” because it may cause severe joint and muscle pain. Female Aedes mosquitoes transmit dengue. Since no vaccine is available, prevention is the best remedy.
HISTORY OF DENGUE FEVER
Dengue is one of the many viral diseases transmitted by mosquito. The disease commonly breaks out in explosive epidemics that spread with amazing rapidly as seen in the year 2011 in Lahore. 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 way to human villages where they started breeding. Hence, infected persons carried disease to cities where Aedes took over as the vector.
OCCURRENCE AND GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION
Dengue geographically restricted until the middle 20th century. It was relatively a minor disease. During the 2nd World War Aedes mosquitoes “e.g., s “were transported around the world with cargo and thought to have played a crucial role in the spread of the virus. It was first properly documented in 1950’s during epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. It is found persistently in the local population (endemic) in more than 100 countries in Asia, America, and Africa.
SYMPTOMS of DENGUE FEVER
After an infected mosquito’s bite, an incubation period of different types of dengue fever are as follow:
TYPES OF DENGUE FEVER
- Asymptomatic or Undifferentiated Fever
- Dengue fever (D-F)
- Dengue Hemorrhagic (fever DHF)
- Dengue Shock Syndrome
ASYMPTOMATIC OR UNDIFFERENTIATED FEVER
This is a type of fever which represents flu-like symptoms with mild fever
The temperature rises above 102F with a severe headache, backache, joints pain, 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 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 white blood cell (WBC) and platelets. In some cases, this may lead to DSS.
DENGUE SHOCK SYNDROME (DSS)
When the patient experiences shock, he has gangue shock syndrome. Both DHF and DSS patient need hospital monitoring and intensive care strict.
Dengue fever is caused by one of four types of dengue virus DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3and DEN-4 which are called its serotypes.
IN HUMAN BEINGS
It enters the skin of human beings through the saliva of infected female Aedes mosquito when it bites for a blood meal. It multiplies in the body cells such as WBCs and symptoms appear after 4-7 days.
When a female Aedes bites a patient, it acquires a virus. It multiplies in the body of the mosquito and is subsequently released to saliva. The virus does not cause any disease in mosquitoes.
The carrier of dengue virus is Aedes mosquito. It is black in color (up to 10mm in size) with the white spot on the body and legs and has shiny wings. Both the male and female mosquito feed on plant nectar but only the female can bite human beings as its mouth parts are designed for this purpose and bear style for sucking blood. The female mosquito needs to suck blood to lay eggs.
Aedes mosquito breeds in clean water which may accumulate in natural or artificial containers. The natural containers include tree holes, bamboo internodes, and leaves while artificial containers include discarded bottles, food packaging, ice cream cups, tools, toys, buckets, dishes,
Damaged appliances, discarded tires scrap cars, boats. Utensils, floors, water storage tanks, barrels, jars, pans, and buckets etc. are the favorable breeding places. In short, we should reduce every possibility of collection of water.
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TRANSMISSION OF DENGUE
Aedes mosquito itself does not have the ability to fly over the long distance. The rapid rise in trade and travel across the world resulted in outbreaks of dengue epidemic in areas where it was previously absent (but the vector Aedes is present) and can also be transmitted through blood transfusion and organ transplant.
PREVENTIVE MEASURES AND CONTROL
The following measurements can be taken:
AT PERSONAL LEVEL
- People can prevent mosquitos bite by wearing clothes that fully cover the skin.
- Use mosquito nets which are sprayed with insecticide.
- Apply mosquito repellents.
AT HOUSEHOLD LEVEL
Controlled spraying of each part of the house, under the furniture, behind the curtains, dark corners, stores and removing all junks items will eliminate the breeding haven.
AT COMMUNITY LEVEL
An Epidemic can be prevented or controlled by well-coordinated community efforts by increasing the awareness about dengue fever. People should learn to recognize and differentiate between three different stages of dengue fever (DF, DHF, and DDS). They should also be able to differentiate between the Aedes mosquitoes and Anopheles, their breeding sites and way transmission of dengue virus. They should be aware of the control measures.
Awareness message can be given to the masses through print and electronic media i.e. radio, T V newspaper etc. Teacher should also play their positive role by informing their students about all factors involved in a spread of the disease, and about its control.
The biological control is being favored because of its harmless nature. Therefore, the use of natural enemies for the control of this disease is imperative.
- Many birds prey on mosquitoes
- Wall lizards, jumping spiders destroy a number of mosquitoes.
- Certain fish are a natural predator of mosquito’s larva in ponds.
- Larva of other insects also feeds on the larva of mosquitoes.
COMPLETE REST SHOULD BE ADVISED TO THE PATIENT
- A Family doctor should be consulted as no medication is available.
- Paracetamol should be taken to control fever. Drugs like aspirin and brufen should be strictly avoided.
- The patient should use plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration.
- After, 3 or more days should consult the doctor.
- If the patient feels worse he should be shifted to the hospital immediately for treatment.
GOVERNMENTS EFFORTS TO CONTROL DENGUE
GOVT. of the Punjab responded promptly to the epidemic Avery active multidirectional campaign was started to keep the disease under control. Teacher, .students, doctors, paramedical staff, several GOVT. department and public representatives headed by the Chief Ministers Punjab took part in this dengue fever campaign.