Fight against dengue

Prevent it :

Fight against dengue

India has the world’s largest dengue burden with about 34 per cent of all cases occuring here. If you are infected, see a doctor and follow his guidelines to the tee, recommends Dr Satish Koul.

During monsoon every year, dengue emerges as one of the most troubling health problems. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the incidence of dengue has raised 30 fold in the past 50 years. It is estimated that globally there will be 50-100 million dengue cases annually in the coming decade. India emerges as the country with the world’s highest dengue burden, with about 34 per cent of all cases occurring here.

Dengue is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito called Aedes egypti, a day biter and fresh-water breeder. This mosquito breeds in water collections in ornamental pots in houses, indoor money plant containers, open water storage tanks, overhead tanks, which are not fully covered, sumps in ongoing construction sites, broken pots, discarded cups and the like. So, it’s important to ensure that ornamental pots are drained out every week, overhead tanks are shut tightly and indoor water storage tanks should be tightly shut to prevent breeding. It is also important to know how to spot the symptoms of the disease and take remedial measures immediately so as to prevent it from turning fatal.

Guard yourself

Prevention of dengue can be done at two levels: 

* At a personal level, avoid wearing half sleeves and shorts during monsoon. Use mosquito-repellant creams or nets at home. Ensure there is no source of mosquito breeding in and around your home or work place

* At a community level, ensure that water does not stagnate in containers, coolers, tyres and broken pots. Half-broken tender coconut randomly discarded is found to be a very good breeding site.

Measures to take

During monsoon, many may find themselves afflicted with several kinds of viral infections and fevers. Although it is largely harmless, beyond a week, it may indicate dengue, and it is important to guard yourself effectively at times like this. So, in case a fever continues for more than three days with rashes on the body and intense headache, make sure to consult a doctor. And if detected with dengue:

* Do not take it lightly, follow the doctor’s advice

* Take medicines only prescribed by a doctor

* Drink plenty of fluids

* Take complete rest

* In case you are vomiting, have dizziness, and are feeling really sick, get hospitalised. In some cases, blood transfusion may be needed.

(The author is a general physician at Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon)

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