How to Prevent and Treat Dengue This Monsoon
Today, we're speaking with Dr. A K Bali from Internal Medicine at Moolchand Medcity in New Delhi, about dengue. The doctor warns that dengue is not to be messed with, “Dengue is a transmitted disease caused by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during the day. Because of the severity of the joint pain associated with dengue, it is also known as 'Break bone' fever. There are four strains of dengue virus; infection from one can cause life long immunity. Secondary dengue is usually more serious than the primary one.”
Dr. Bali suggests that if you face any dengue symptoms, you must rush to a clinic immediately: “Look out for sudden high grade fever, accompanied by nausea, body ache and stomach pain. Go to the doctor immediately and get your blood test done. If found positive with Dengue Antigen serology (low platelet count, high SGOT, SGPT), the patient is supposed to drink plenty of fluids. Other features are unexplained itching, nausea-vomiting suggestive of gall bladder inflammation or liver inflammation. Presence of restlessness (oxygen deficiency in the brain), abdominal pain and black stools (GI bleeding) signifies urgency.”
But there’s a slight glitch, the blood test takes time, “IgM blood test may take 5 days to become positive.” Dr. Bali shares some precautionary measures, “In the first 5 days all dengue tests may be negative. Do not give aspirin in the suspected case of dengue as it can further disturb the platelet functions. The period of maximum risk for shock is between the third and seventh day of illness. This tends to coincide with resolution of fever.”
Dr. Bali says, “But there is no need to panic and no platelet transfusion is required unless platelet count is less than 10-20,000 or there is a presence of spontaneous bleeding. During epidemics, people of all ages are involved otherwise the disease is more common in children.”
Dengue can cause bleeding; Dr. Bali explains, “Mostly dengue infections result in relatively mild illness, but a very small percentage of infection can develop into a far more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). This disease is identified with leaking blood vessels that cause bleeding from bodily orifices through nose, mouth and gums. Bruising can be another sign of bleeding inside the body. Unavailability of the right treatment at the right time can result in a collapse of the blood vessels, causing shock (Dengue shock syndrome) and very often death. Thus it is very necessary to seek urgent medical help if the patient starts bleeding from body orifices.”
Hospitilisation is important if hit by dengue. However, for temporal relief Dr. A K Bali suggests, “One can take crocin or paracetamol in order to ease fever and pain. Drink plenty of fluids at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.”
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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