Did you know dengue fever has been included among the list of top 10 global public health threats to the world by the World Health Organization? Like most countries, Pakistan is also facing a dengue outbreak.
What is Dengue Fever?
This mosquito-borne viral disease is widespread in different areas of Pakistan. Dengue fever is also known as break-bone fever and is transmitted by getting bitten by an infected female Aedes mosquito. This seemingly harmless mosquito bite can lead to fever, which may vary from mild to severe. In mild cases, it presents itself as just an ordinary fever. However, in extreme cases, it can take the form of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, which can potentially be lethal. What’s astonishing is that around 90% of patients get infected without any obvious dengue fever symptoms. Hence they only find they have the disease when it aggravates.
Where Is Dengue Fever Found?
Dengue fever is prevalent in the Western Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. However, it is most common in countries with warm weather conditions that favor mosquito survival as opposed to colder climates. Hence, dengue fever in Pakistan is relatively common.
Due to global warming, dengue fever outbreak is spreading more rapidly than ever before. Vector Aedes mosquito footprint has increased astronomically over the years; therefore, the spread of dengue has become worldwide.
Did you know the Aedes mosquito can fly up to 400 meters? That’s right. They target containers that are close to human habitation to lay eggs. Their preference is clean, stagnant water, which is usually present in most homes in Pakistan. The length of the mosquito breeding cycle typically requires 10 to 14 days to develop in standing water.
Therefore, insect control authorities recommend dumping standing water at least once a week. After all, prevention is better than cure. Preventing mosquitoes from breeding not only reduces the probability of mosquito bites, but it also works as vital dengue protection for your household.
How Dengue Fever Is Spread?
Dengue fever cannot spread directly by coming into contact with an infected person. However, the said person can pass along the disease when he gets bitten by mosquitoes. Therefore, if that mosquito bites another person, it transmits the disease.
What Are Dengue Fever Symptoms?
Dengue outbreaks can occur anywhere, anytime and since the victim is not aware they are infected until it aggravates, it is best to know the early signs of this ailment. Dengue initially presents itself with flu-like symptoms that show within the span of 1.5 to 10 days after an insect bite. If the case is mild, symptoms resolve on its own within two to seven days.
Dengue symptoms can range from vomiting, nausea, pain behind the ears, high fever, joint and muscle aches, headache and fever. A little more into the illness is when body rashes tend to occur. Severe dengue symptoms typically develop within three to seven days after the first signs of disease appear. These include abdominal pain, bleeding gums, fatigue, restlessness, rapid breathing, persistent vomiting and blood vomits.
This infection causes platelets, tiny cell fragments that form blood clots to stop bleeding. Making them fall steeply, which leads to bleeding within the internal organs, specifically the gastrointestinal tract.
Who is at Risk of Dengue Fever?
Everybody is at risk of this disease. Especially individuals who are outdoors in the garden after dusk or dawn without wearing lotion for insect bites. Generally, younger children and individuals who have not been infected before tend to have milder cases as opposed to older children and adults. Nonetheless, there is still a risk of developing a serious illness.
Those with a weakened immune system, as well as those with second dengue infection, are at a high risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.
How Can Dengue Fever Be Cured?
The dengue virus has no specific antibiotic or medication available. Typically, this fever subsides by targeting the relief of symptoms. Patients are advised to get adequate rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, which can occur due to high fever and excess vomiting.
Patients whose temperature declines in three to seven days after symptoms begin are recommended to visit the doctor. It is important to note, though the temperature may decrease, it is not necessarily an indication of recovery. When warning signs of severe dengue are present, such as bleeding gums, fatigue, rapid breathing, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting and restlessness, it is monumental to consult a doctor.
What Are Dengue Fever Precautions?
There are a few measures you can take to protect yourself and your children from mosquito bites successfully. To begin, the best way would be to avoid getting bitten is by keeping covered. The less your skin shows, the less you will attract mosquitoes. The next time you are heading out, wear a full sleeve shirt and socks with shoes. Avoid wearing darker colors such as red, deep blue, or black. These colors stand out and, therefore, attract more attention. Furthermore, wearing thicker and looser fabric provides better protection than wearing fitted clothing.
Make sure you apply a generous amount of lotion for insect bites. We recommend using Xero Bite Lotion. This all natural mosquito repellent is made with Citronella, Eucalyptus and Neem Oil. The non-greasy formula provides effective protection against insect bites, which can lead to malaria and dengue. Take five to six drops of this mosquito bite remedy on your palms and rub all over exposed skin. Buy skincare products online from Daraz.pk for quick delivery across Pakistan.
At home, it is best to cover windows with screens and insecticide-treated netting. This type of mesh provides adequate protection against insecticides as it kills mosquitoes and other insects. A regular net is also great as it provides a physical barrier that prevents mosquitoes from entering the room.
Since we have already established the Aedes mosquito breeds in stagnant water such as buckets, receptacles and watering cans, be sure to keep it covered with a lid.
Since mosquitoes generally tend to bite more frequently at prime times, such as dusk and dawn. It is recommending you stay indoors or at least limit exposure during these times. In case you simply cannot avoid being outdoors, slather on Xero Bite Lotion. The herbal formulation is free of toxic chemicals, which is gentle on the skin and tough on mosquitoes.