Dengue

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The death of two minors (6-year-old Aman and 7-year-old Avinash) by dengue has heightened the pitch over the mosquito-borne disease in New Delhi. The state government has ordered administrators to keep a close watch on the city hospitals treating patients with dengue. It has also started public awareness campaigns in the media. Adequate medical attention and supply of medicines are the need of the hour in the hospitals. Here are some facts related to dengue:

Symptoms

• Sudden high fever

• Severe headaches

• Loss of appetite

• Pain behind the eyes

• Severe joint and muscle pain

• Fatigue, nausea, vomiting

• Skin rash begins to appear 2-5 days after the onset of fever

• Mild bleeding (nose bleed, bleeding gums)

Prevention

• Avoid heavily populated residential areas

• Use mosquito repellents

When indoors, use air conditioning if available

• When outdoors, keep skin areas covered

• Prevent access of mosquitoes to an infected person with a fever

graph
Areas (in yellow) with greater dengue risks

 

Treatment

There is no specific medicine or antibiotic available to treat dengue except for providing some relief from the symptoms. Maximising fluid intake for hydration and taking rests are usually recommended as an antidote. The medicines used to treat fever like paracetamol is generally taken. However, Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision, as it may induce bleeding. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Codeine may be given for severe headache, joint and muscle pain.

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