Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. In recent years, transmission has increased predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas and has become a major international public health concern.
Severe dengue (previously known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever) was first recognized in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. Today, severe dengue affects most Asian and Latin American countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalization and death among children in these regions.
There are four distinct, but closely related, serotypes of the virus that cause dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4). Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that particular serotype. However, cross-immunity to the other serotypes after recovery is only partial and temporary. Subsequent infections by other serotypes increase the risk of developing severe dengue.
BASIC FACTS ON DENGUE
(a) How dengue spreads?
Dengue is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito Aedes aegypti. The mosquito gets the virus by biting the infected persons. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after an infected bite.
There is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the dengue virus. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites.
(b) Where does the mosquito live?
The mosquito rests indoors, in closets and other dark places. Outside, they rest where it is cool and shaded. The female mosquito lays her eggs in water containers in and around homes, schools and other areas in towns or villages. These eggs become adult in about 10 days.
(c) Where does the mosquito breed?
Dengue mosquitoes breed in stored exposed water collections. Favoured breeding places are:
Barrels, drums, jars, pots, buckets, flower vases, plant saucers, tanks, discarded bottles, tins, tyres, water cooler, etc. and a lot more places where rain- water collects or is stored.
Top 15 most interesting fact about dengue fever
- Only really transmitted through mosquitoes.
- It has a skin rash similar to the Measles
- Infects 50-100 million people each year
- Any one can get Dengue fever
- The feet and Hands Turn a bright red
- There is no cure
- Not many Die only 1% of people have to be hospitalized
- They don't want you to take Advil like medicine
- Very few cases have been documented in the United States.
- Mothers who are pregnant and give birth while sick with Dengue Fever will share their sickness with their newborn child.
- This disease has a geographical spread like Malaria and has symptoms similar to the flu.
- It has three stages and each one is worse than the last.
- It infects 50-100 million a year.
- The middle aged has more of a chance of mild symptoms
- Only Female Mosquitoes are Dengue Carriers
Dengue Fever is actually not fatalThis is one of the most important facts about dengue fever health condition. Dengue is actually not fatal as most people think however, when a simple dengue is fever turned into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, this is the time that immediate medication and hospitalization are needed. Dengue is usually characterized by high fever, severe headache, rashes around the body and pain in the muscles. This condition can last up to ten days, drinking lot of water and eating nutritious foods are needed during this period. However, there are instances that a simple dengue fever could turn into dengue hemorrhagic fever within 3 to 5 days and this condition should be immediately treated in the hospital as blood transfusion is necessary.
We Can Still Suffer Dengue Fever Several Times
The first encounter of dengue fever doesn't actually assure that our body is safe from possible dengue viruses this is because there are 4 serotypes of this condition. We can still be infected by dengue viruses anytime and anywhere so the best way to protect ourselves is by eradicating the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Cleaning stagnant canals, removing water from flower vases and cleaning the surroundings are the best remedies to prevent dengue fever. These are just some of the facts about dengue fever that we should know and keep in mind all the time.
Only Female Mosquitoes are Dengue Carriers
Dengue viruses causing dengue fever are caused by the bites of female mosquitoes. The virus are only carried and spread by female Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes as the human blood is rich in protein necessary for their production of eggs. Male mosquitoes only rely on the plant nectars as their food for survival. Most Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus usually bite on daytime. The only way to prevent this disease is to remove all their possible ways to reproduce more eggs. The facts about dengue fever could only be understood properly by understanding about these mosquito carrying viruses.
Nature Can Help in Reducing the Number of Mosquitoes
One of the common facts about dengue fever and mosquitoes is that nature can prevent this disease from affecting us so we need to take care of our nature. Nature can significantly reduce the increasing number of mosquitoes around us remember that mosquitoes can multiply rapidly because they lay many eggs. Animals such as frogs, spiders, lizards, and beetles are just some of the mosquito eating animals as they need it for their own survival. Larvivorous fishes such as guppy fish are also our friends as they eat mosquito larvae for their survival, these larvae could eventually turn into mosquitoes that cause dengue fever. There are also plants that can prevent mosquito from staying near our houses, always remember that nature is always around us.
Dengue Patients Should Never Take Aspirin
One of the unknown facts about dengue fever is that aspirin can intensify the bleeding of a dengue fever patient and increase the fatality of the complications because of its anticoagulant properties. Most of the time, Paracetamol is recommended to patients in relieving his or her fever and sensation of pain. The best way to alleviate the severity of dengue fever is to rest and consume nutritious foods at home. Antibiotics won't work because dengue is a virus and not just bacteria that could be treated by antibiotic medicines.
Those are the above mentioned facts about dengue fever and mosquitoes that we need to keep in mind for us to prevent this disease early. Although mosquitoes are just tiny insects that fly around us, they are capable of taking down our body. It is always important to prevent the spread of these insects before they could bring disaster to our lives.
Prevention and control
- Dengue is a serious viral disease transmitted by the bite of the mosquito;
- Dengue infection occurs in two forms: Dengue fever and Dengue
- Haemorrhagic Fever;
- Dengue fever is a severe flu like illness that affects older children and adults but rarely causes death;
- Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a more severe form, in which bleeding and occasionally shock occur, leading to death, mostly in children;
- Persons suspected of having dengue fever or DHF must see a doctor at once. Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a deadly disease and early recognition and treatment can save lives. Unless proper treatment is given promptly, the patient may go into shock and die.
- Severe abdominal pains (black stools), bleeding on the skin or from the nose or gums, sweating, cold skin are danger signs. If any one of them is noticed take the patient to a hospital immediately. Give fluids to drink during transfer to the hospital;
- Give nutritious food and fluids to drink to the patients; Dengue mosquitoes bite during the day;
- The patient should be kept under a mosquito net or in a screened room during the period of illness;
- Screen your rooms against mosquitoes or use mosquito nets or use mosquito repellent;
- Discard objects in which water collects, e.g. tins, cans, coconut shells, etc. Do not allow water to collect in pits around your houses. All stored water containers should be covered all the time. This will prevent breeding of Dengue mosquitoes, and
- Doctors and health workers treating cases of dengue fever should also notify the health authorities.