Mosquitoes are responsible for causing more human suffering than any other organism. Dengue is one of the most common diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, and it is also one of the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease. Endemic in over 100 countries, about 40% of the world’s population now lives in areas that are at risk for dengue.
Symptoms of Dengue
Dengue symptoms can range from mild to severe, and the disease is often expressed as a flu-like illness. Watch out for the symptoms below to identify dengue:
- Flu-like symptoms
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle and joint pains
- Swollen glands and rashes
- Severe abdominal pain,
- Persistent vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in vomit
- Plasma leakage
- Fluid accumulation
- Respiratory distress
- Severe bleeding
- Organ impairment.
Treatment of Dengue
There is no medicine or specific treatment that exists for dengue. Pain-relievers with acetaminophen can be taken. Aspirin should be avoided since it may worsen bleeding. It is also recommended to have plenty of fluids to help recover from dehydration. The following may be required in cases of severe dengue:
- Hospital admission for supportive care
- Intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Blood transfusion to replace blood loss
Protection against Dengue
There is no vaccine for Dengue and effective mosquito control measures are the only method to prevent the disease.
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors. Cover up with long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, tucked into socks and a hat if thin-haired.
- Use effective insect repellents on skin and on clothing and reapply at regular intervals as prescribed.
- Arrange for undamaged, impregnated bed-nets to be used in sleeping areas not properly screened or air-conditioned.
- Keep water containers covered and clean up old tires, cans, and barrels as standing water is breeding place for the mosquitoes.