By Dr. Rekha Gonnade
In India, May 16 is observed as National Dengue Day. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has prepared the notification of dengue cases mandatory across states with a principal goal to perform surveillance of disease, mass outbreak prevention, and implement preventive measures in hotspots. Finally, a single day dedicated to raising awareness about dengue initiated through a national observance, the Ministry also hopes to give concern to disease surveillance programs and public education on the causes, symptoms, and protocols to be followed in case of disease detection.
Dengue is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV, 1–4 serotypes DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4). This viral disease is transmitted by the bite of Aedes aegypti female mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. The mosquito bites during daylight hours. An infected person develops symptoms 3-14 days after the infective bite. Prevention and control of Dengue depend on effective vector control measures. Mild cases of dengue rarely show signs in children or teens.
If symptoms occur, they will last for 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include Joint or muscle pain, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Swollen glands, Pain behind the eyes and rashes, etc. Most of the people recover within a week but in some cases, symptoms become worsen and life-threatening and cause severe dengue fever.
Several methods can be used for the diagnosis of DENV infection. During the first few days of infection, the virus may be isolated from the blood and various reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) methods are available and are considered as gold standard. The viral detection depends on the presence of virus-produced protein, called NS1. Serological methods, includes ELISA enzyme-linked immune sorbent assays may confirm the presence of anti-dengue antibodies IgM and IgG. IgM antibodies are detectable ~1 week after infection and remain detectable for 3 months while IgG antibody levels take longer to develop and remain in the body for years.
The best options to treat dengue symptoms are paracetamol or acetaminophen. The use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided for treatment. These anti-inflammatory drugs lead to blood thinning and the risk of hemorrhage. To cure mild dengue fever drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Drink water or drinks with added electrolytes. The first dengue vaccine Dengvaxia® (CYD-TDV) is developed by Sanofi Pasteur and it was licensed in December 2015.
Safety measures include the following things:
- Water from coolers and other small containers should be removed at least once a week.
- Water storage containers that cannot be emptied should be treated with appropriate larvicides.
- For the prevention of bites of mosquitoes aerosol can be used during the daytime.
- We should use Mosquito nets or mosquito repellents while sleeping during the daytime.
- Personal protective measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets, window screens, coils, and vaporizers can be used to prevent mosquito bites.
- To prevent the further spread of dengue to other persons. Dengue patients should be prevented from mosquito bites.
(The author is a Consultant, Microbiologist, Metropolis, Lab One, Raipur (C.G) India. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication, and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)