Dengue – Day biting Mosquitoes
September 15th, 2010
Dengue is breaking out in Delhi, just in time for the Commonwealth games. This is not a great surprise. The virus is transmitted by mosquito bites.
Dengue mosquitoes breed easily in cities. The dengue mosquito can breed in a pot plant saucer.
City with infected persons + building sites + monsoon = great recipe for Dengue.
The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades – since we developed aircraft to transport Dengue carrying humans around the world.
About two fifths of the world’s population are now at risk. WHO currently estimates there may be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year. Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
is commonly reported from South East Asia (especially in Thailand from March to July), India, the Pacific islands and the Caribbean.
The disease is relatively common in travellers. Some studies show 1% of travellers to the tropics are exposed to the dengue virus. It is often NOT diagnosed or mistaken for something else. The only way to confirm dengue fever is to have a blood test. Fever after visiting these areas could also be malaria, which needs a test too. The common features of dengue are:
· Fairly sudden onset
· Headache – especially pain behind the eyes
· Joint or muscle pain
Sequence of illness
About 1-2 weeks after the mosquito bite, a mild runny nose develops, followed a few hours later by the sudden onset of fever, a splitting frontal headache, and severe muscle and joint pains. (Dengue is sometimes called break-bone fever.) Pain behind the eyes is characteristic. Some persons notice a change in taste sensation. A rash occurs in 60% of sufferers. The rash can be flat or slightly raised, red or pink, with spots or blotches. It is usually present on the trunk, limbs, palms and soles. Other diseases can cause a similar looking rash. Jaundice ( yellow skin) is rare.
Severe symptoms usually last one week, with tiredness persisting for several weeks after. Sometimes after 2 to 3 days of illness, the fever and pains appear to settle for a few days, then symptoms return, though less severely. Usually sufferers make a full recovery.
Although a seriously unpleasant illness, serious complications are rare from the first attack of dengue; However, there are four strains of the dengue virus. If you are exposed to a different strain at a later time, the second attack is likely to be more serious than the first. A second attack can cause dengue shock, which can be fatal if not treated properly. Dengue shock can cause the sufferer to develops excessive bleeding into the skin, mouth, nose and internal organs …leading to a life threatening drop in blood pressure. The technical term is Dengue Haemorrhagic fever, and it is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian countries
How do you avoid Dengue Fever?
Infected humans are the main carriers and multipliers of the virus, serving as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes. It is spread from person-to-person by a mosquito (Aedes aegypti), which bites during the day. If you sleep during the day you are especially at risk, as you may be a sitting duck for passing mosquitoes.
There is no dengue vaccine yet …( Although the Royal Childrens Hospital in Brisbane is seeking Adult volunteers for an investigation Dengue vaccine at the moment. Phone 36361567 for more information on this )
The best way to avoid Dengue is to avoid bites from mosquitoes in the daytime.
If you are attending the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next month, dont forget to pack the repellent!
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