Although we yearn for a fresh downpour after the scorching heat of the sun, this year the showers have been pretty intense, coupled with gushes of wind that lead to destruction. West Bengal has been submerged in the rains for months. The heavy showers have made everyday activities difficult and left many grieving over unfortunate losses. Not only the rains, the continuous humidity and the soggy atmosphere has affected the healthy and the diseased quite aggressively.
Such seasons also severely increase the chances of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue. As per the recent reports by nvbdcp.gov.in, West Bengal alone reports 224 Dengue cases and deaths for the year 2021 (till July).
Waterlogging has been blamed to be a massive contributor to such a number of cases. The leading media houses and news reporters have been continuously focusing on the poor drainage system of West Bengal that leads to intense waterlogging, filled potholes, and prolonged standing waters.
Standing water is a suitable condition and the perfect shelter for mosquito breeding which increases the number of Dengue cases. Besides, filled potholes and the poor drainage system can further contaminate the water source of your house leading to severe and fatal water-borne diseases.
Since we are focusing more on Dengue since the cases have been rising (224 in 2021 from the last 2017 report that recorded 46 cases), given below are some necessary details about dengue that you should know before we discuss ways to prevent and treat.
What is Dengue?
Dengue fever, commonly referred to as Dengue, is a mosquito-borne disease that is quite frequent in the subtropical and tropical corners of the world. Mild Dengue fever can have symptoms including flu-like symptoms as well as high fever.
Severe Dengue may show symptoms like rapid breathing, liver enlargement, blood in vomit, rapid decrease in platelet count, nose and gum (mucosal) bleeding and more.
Worst cases can lead to Dengue haemorrhagic fever which is the severe stage of Dengue fever a syndrome caused by the Dengue virus that affects children under 10, leading to severe abdominal pain, bleeding uneven circulatory collapse (shock). Dengue haemorrhagic fever can be fatal and hence should be treated on time.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever is defined by four significant criteria –
- Fever that lasted for 2-7 days.
- Traces of increased vascular permeability
- Thrombocytopenia (platelet count of <100,000/mm3)
- Hemorrhagic manifestation
Conditions where the patient meets all the four above mentioned criteria for Dengue haemorrhagic fever instant as Dengue shock syndrome. Patients with Dengue can rapidly suffer from DSS are dengue shock syndrome which if not treated on time can lead to serious complications and even death.
Symptoms of Dengue
For many patients, Dengue may not have any symptoms at all. In case symptoms do occur, they should not be mistaken for other illnesses. This is why getting in touch with the best general physician in Kolkata can be quite helpful in aiding the severity of the disease.
Some common symptoms of Dengue may include –
- High fever (104 F or 40C)
- Swollen glands
- Muscle, bone or joint pain
- Pain behind the eyes
Usually, patients tend to recover within a week or so. But at times, people may suffer from Dengue shock syndrome or Dengue haemorrhagic, causing worsening of the symptoms and even death. Severe Dengue attacks when the blood vessels are damaged or become leaky and the number of clot-forming cells in the bloodstream reduces. This leads to organ failure, internal bleeding and untimely death.
The warning signs may include –
- Bleeding from gums and nose
- Severe stomach pain
- Rapid or difficult breathing
- Persistent vomiting
- Bleeding under the skin
- Blood in stool, vomit or urine
Who is more at risk?
Since Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease, all are at severe risk of being infected. Nevertheless, you may be more likely to be suffering from Dengue fever if:
You live or travel in Dengue-prone areas: Being in Dengue-prone areas such as the tropical and subtropical corners increases the chances of exposure to the virus that causes Dengue.
You have suffered from Dengue in the past: People who have already suffered from Dengue are more likely to be having severe Dengue symptoms from another attack.
What are the possible complications?
In the case of severe Dengue fever, complications may include internal bleeding and even organ failure. A serious drop in blood pressure may also lead to shocks. At times, severe Dengue cases may also lead to death.
Besides, pregnant women affected with Dengue can spread the virus to the baby at the time of childbirth. Such pregnancies may lead to preterm birth, fetal distress or even low birth weight.
How to prevent Dengue?
People belonging to Dengue-prone areas can prevent the disease with the help of the vaccine Dengvaxia. However, the vaccine is given to those with a history of Dengue fever in the past. People who have not been infected are more likely to increase the risk of severe Dengue fever on receiving the vaccine.
- Preventing mosquitoes
Since Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease, one must take all the precautionary measures to stay away from mosquitoes. To reduce the chances of mosquito bites one must –
- Get rid of standing water to reduce mosquito habitat
- Wear protective clothes
- Make use of mosquito repellents
- Keep the doors and windows closed to prevent mosquitoes from flying in.
In addition to the above, upon noticing the slightest symptoms of Dengue as mentioned above, get in touch with the best general physician in Kolkata immediately. Seeking medical help can reduce the adversities and quality treatment can be ensured.
You can get in touch with adept doctors like Dr. Amitabha Saha, having years of experience in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of critical illnesses.