What is Dengue?

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and Dengue are classified as acute febrile diseases, which are commonly found in Africa and tropics. 4 related viruses of family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus are responsible for the disease. Dengue is also popular as breakbone fever. Dengue is commonly found in some nations like, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Brazil, Guyana, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Venezuela. Mosquito Aedes aegypi is responsible for transmition of the virus in humans.

Clear symptom of dengue is joints and muscle pains, severe headache rash and fever. Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting can also be therein the fever. In some milder cases, symptoms can be confused as influenza when there are no rashes. So mis diagnosis is also a reason for spreading of dengue in genuine population. Fever goes on for at least a week, with increased fever at the end days of disease. It has been found that a drop will be there in platelet count of a person recovered from dengue.

Diagnosis of Dengue

Clinical diagnosis is favored for dengue. High fever and petechial rash are primary conformations. A person is said to be infected with dengue if he shows all these symptoms- fever, bladder problem, severe headache, loss of appetite, bleeding from gingiva, mucosa and injection sites, decreased platelet count, plasma leakage. A person is said to be suffering from Dengue shock syndrome if he is showing all these symptoms plus- less pulse pressure, clammy and cold skin with restlessness. PCR is usually preferred for confirming cases of dengue.

Treatment of Dengue
Timed therapy is used to tackle dengue. To avoid dehydration oral fluid intake must be increased. In rare cases like if in some case platelet level decreases a lot or there are cases of excessive bleeding then platelet transfusion is required. Use of anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin should be prevented because these drugs are add on for bleeding chances. Research shows that use of ribavirin and mycophenolic acid inhibits dengue replication. Lack of global interest in dealing with this disease is a limitation for developing out an effective treatment.

Prevention of Dengue
Dengue can be prevented either by vaccine development or by mosquito control. Till now no vaccine for dengue is available on commercial scale. But in 2003 the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative program was installed with the objective developing vaccine(s) for dengue which is accessible and affordable for poor children in effective areas. Other means of prevention is mosquito control. This can be done in two ways- controlling adult mosquito and larval control. Mosquitoes of dengue develop in artificial containers, so draining of these containers at respective periods is a must to control population of this mosquito. One more efficient way is Larvicide treatment. One vaccine named as (YF-17D) yellow fever vaccine is showing favorable results to fight against dengue. Its current spread in north India is again earning interest of scientists to pay attention on the threat of dengue on human health.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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