In Mumbai city alone, the number of dengue fatalities has reached 12 in just a month, with 5 fatalities reported in the last week only. The papers are full of horror stories of how this dreaded mosquito-borne disease has affected 4000 people in October 2014. All it takes is one bite from one Aedes mosquito to infect you. The virus takes five to eight days to incubate before symptoms begin to appear.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms?
There are different severities of dengue fever, the symptoms can vary and are categorized into these three stages below:
Mild Dengue Fever: Symptoms of this stage appear and disappear after a week. This form of the disease hardly results in serious or fatal complications. Symptoms of mild dengue fever are:
- Aching muscles and joints
- Body rash that can disappear and then reappear
- High fever (40°C) for up to a week
- Intense headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Vomiting and feeling nauseous
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF): In some cases, mild dengue fever might gradually result to DHF after a number of days. DHF is fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include, apart from mild dengue fever symptoms :
- Bleeding from your mouth/gums/nose
- Clammy skin
- Damage to lymph and blood vessels
- Internal bleeding, which can result in black vomit and stools
- Lower number of platelets in blood – cells that help clot your blood
- Sensitive stomach
- Small blood spots under your skin
- Weak pulse
Dengue Shock Syndrome: This is the worst form of dengue, with fatality rates up to as high as 50%. Along with mild dengue fever symptoms, signs that are likely to appear are:
- Intense stomach pain
- Sudden hypotension (fast drop in blood pressure)
- Heavy bleeding
- Regular vomiting
- Blood vessels leaking fluid
What Precautions Can We Take?
- Avoid dengue hot spots and breeding grounds during early mornings, late evening and night.
- Install mosquito screens in windows and doors.
- Wear socks, shoes, long pants and long sleeved tops.
- Insect repellents are crucial.
- Take note and clean up potential breeding grounds around your home and surroundings. Use organic pesticides in your garden.
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