Dengue fever is one of the diseases transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes. Since it is caused by a group of viruses, individuals can get infected multiple times.However, life-long immunity is achieved with the specific virus that the individual has been infected with.
The onset of symptoms is usually very sudden and acute with debilitating muscle and joint pains, high fever, severe headache, rash along with swollen lymph nodes. High fever, itchy rash and headache are the signature symptoms. It is also called as the ‘break-bone fever’ as people suffering from severe body pains assume distorted positions which affect their movement greatly.
Millions of people suffer from dengue every year. It is a tropical or sub-tropical disease occurring in many African and Asian countries.It is an endemic disease in the Indian subcontinent. The incidence of the disease seems to be disturbingly increasing. There could be several factors contributing to this, such as an increase in urban population, international commerce leading to the introduction of infected mosquitoes in areas that were previously disease-free, environmental weather changes that are creating congenial environment for the mosquitoes to survive etc.
Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention:
The symptoms such as high fever, itchy rash and headaches are usually very characteristic and help in the diagnosis of the disease. At times, if all the symptoms are not present then differential diagnosis is need which involves blood tests that check for the virus or the antibodies produced by the virus.
There is neither a cure for the disease nor an effective vaccine to prevent it. So prevention is better than cure. Since the virus requires both humans and mosquitoes as hosts to complete its lifecycle, it is easier to prevent the disease by breaking the lifecycle of the virus when one of the host is not available for its multiplication. Thus by eliminating mosquitoes that are responsible for the spread of the disease, we can easily eradicate the disease. Therefore avoiding mosquito bites, killing mosquitoes, and traveling to places that have the prevalence of the disease are the best preventive measures to be taken.