National Dengue Day is observed on May 16 every year to raise awareness about dengue in India. This health event was initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to strategies preventive measures and readiness for controlling the spread of this vector-borne disease. As per the World Health Organization, the incidence of dengue has risen significantly worldwide and more than half of the world’s population is at higher risk. Around 100-400 million cases of infections are reported globally every year.
Dengue is widely prevalent in our country, as per statistics the maximum number of dengue cases reported from Punjab spiked to an all-time high of 16,129 in 2021. This viral fever has a seasonal pattern with cases peaking in the monsoon period from July to November. Dengue is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus of four unique serotypes including DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. It is transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). This disease is categorised by flu-like illnesses such as severe muscle pain and nausea and can lead to death if not promptly treated.
The onset of dengue symptoms develops between 3-14 days after being bitten by the carrier mosquito. Fever, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and rashes are the common symptoms. Dengue haemorrhagic fever is set by an acute onset of symptoms like abdominal cramping, vomiting, and bleeding. In severe cases of haemorrhagic fever, it can be very fatal due to dengue shock syndrome.
There are no antiviral drugs for dengue, but prompt diagnosis and appropriate clinical management can decrease the mortality rates below 1%. Also, the physician recommends analgesics with paracetamol and encourages the patient to stay well hydrated, eat a good lot of immune-boosting foods and get adequate rest to speed up the recovery process.
Well, there are several misconceptions about this infection. We debunk 6 common myths about dengue fever, so, that you can take the appropriate precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Dengue Myths Busted
Any mosquito can cause dengue
No, dengue can be spread via the bite of female Aedes mosquitoes. Further, they can transmit the infection only when they themselves are affected by dengue.
Low platelets mean you have dengue
Although low platelet count is a classic symptom of dengue. Though, it doesn’t equate to a diagnostic sign of dengue itself. With seasonal changes, there can be a lot of viral and bacterial infections, which too can result in similar symptoms to dengue and lead to platelet loss. However, the platelet count can also be low if a person suffers from leptospirosis, scrub typhus, yellow fever, autoimmune disease, surgery, and certain medications
Drinking papaya juice cures dengue
Well, the papaya leaf extract is known to be beneficial in the management of dengue. However, it cannot completely cure the disease. Thus, one can have this extract as a supplement with recommended medicines but cannot solely rely on it for curing dengue.
Dengue fever does not do any harm
Like most other diseases, dengue is both mild and severe. If a person gets the right treatment in the initial stage, then he won’t be severely affected. But on the other side, late diagnosis and treatment may result in complications such as confusion, breathing problem, internal bleeding, and liver failure.
Only children and older adults are susceptible to dengue fever
Dengue can affect all individuals regardless of their age, gender, or social-economic status. However, there are several other factors that can raise your risk of getting infected, which include prior dengue fever and living in a tropical area.
Dengue is contagious
Fact:No, dengue is not transmissible from person to person. It can only be spread when an infected Aedes mosquito bites an individual, who then develops dengue and symptoms will emerge 4 to 5 days after being bitten.