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How To Identify If You Are Suffering From Dengue?

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Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease, which exists worldwide, particularly in tropical regions, endangering nearly half of the world’s population. Understandably, health departments are working tirelessly to manage this situation and safeguard their citizens2. Many states in India, is experiencing a concerning spike in cases of dengue.

Recognizing Dengue Fever: Should You Be Worried?

Fever: This symptom is quite common in many illnesses. However, when you are dealing with an intractable high fever that persists for over three days, it’s time to seek immediate medical attention. A consistent high temperature that potentially readies up to 103 or 104 degrees Fahrenheit should not be overlooked.

Physical discomfort: Accompanied by the high fever, if you experience other symptoms, it should raise your concern. Here are some to watch out for:

Eye Pain – An intense discomfort in the eyes, often described as a pain behind the eyes, could be one of the indications.
Joint Pain – Discomfort, inflammation, or pain in the joints might be another telling sign.
Nausea and Vomiting – Gastrointestinal symptoms of this nature, combined with high fever, may be suggestive of dengue.
Persistence of Symptoms: It’s not just about the appearance of symptoms but also the course it takes over time that adds weightage. If any of these symptoms show persistence, it could be a red flag to an underlying problem such as dengue fever.

Remember, early identification of symptoms is crucial in managing dengue fever:

  1. High Fever – One of the first signs that lasts for 2-7 days.
  2. Nausea or Vomiting – It’s usual to experience these symptoms early in dengue infection.
  3. Eye Pain – One unusual symptom of dengue is a severe pain behind the eyes.
  4. Joint Pain – People with dengue often experience pain in their joints or muscles.
  5. Persistent Headache – A severe consistent headache could be a telling sign.

Consultation with a Medical Professional: It’s crucial to keep in mind that recognizing the symptoms is vastly different from diagnosing the condition. A confirmed diagnosis of dengue can only be made by a medical professional who will carry out specific diagnostic tests. If you suspect you may have contracted dengue fever, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider immediately.

Types of Dengue Viruses and Their Severity

Four dengue viruses can infect humans – DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. All four are capable of causing severe disease, but in the recent spike, DENV-2 is reportedly causing most cases1.

The DENV-2 virus strain can lead to severe illnesses like dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, potentially resulting in multi-organ failure in some cases3. Although there have been no reported fatalities from hemorrhagic fever so far in this outbreak, the severity of this strain calls for heightened vigilance1.

Dengue Prevention: Proactive Measures

Given that dengue prevention primarily involves avoiding mosquito bites, multiple preventive measures can be undertaken at an individual and community level4:

  1. Wear Full-Length Clothing: Clothes covering most of the body surface decrease the chances of mosquito bites.
  2. Maintain Hygiene and Clean Surroundings: Keeping the environment clean helps deter mosquito breeding.
  3. Prevent Water Stagnation: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Therefore, ensure to drain out any stagnant water in pots, coolers, or other containers.
  4. Use Mosquito Repellants: Application of mosquito repellants can provide additional protection.
  5. Boost Immunity: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and maintaining hydration could help strengthen the immune system.

It’s important to note that dengue is not the only health concern during the monsoon season. In Maharashtra, we are also seeing an increase in other conditions like conjunctivitis, indicating the need for comprehensive health vigilance1.

In conclusion, while the rise in dengue cases is an urgent issue, understanding the disease’s signs, preventing mosquito bites, and seeking immediate medical attention in case of persistent high fever can help protect against this illness.

Sources:

  1. “Dengue Cases Rise in UP: Should You Worry if You Have High Fever For 3 Days? How to Identify If You Are Suffering From Dengue”, India.com, source ↩2 ↩3 ↩4 ↩5 ↩6
  2. “Dengue and severe dengue”, World Health Organization, source
  3. “Clinical features, complication and treatment of dengue fever in the world: An update”, Researchgate, source
  4. “Dengue Prevention Tips: How to Protect Yourself From Deadly Mosquito-Borne Disease”, Mayo Clinic Health System, source

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