The number of dengue cases is on the rise in Tamil Nadu (and across the country) and the statistics are alarming. State health secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that as many as 35 people have died due to dengue in the state (as of 14 October 2017). Here’s everything you need to know about the symptoms, treatment, natural repellents, immunity boosters and preventive measure for dengue fever.
1. CausesThis viral disease is transmitted to human bodies through the bite of female Aedes mosquitoes typically during the day time mostly below the elbows and knees. It can also be transmitted from one infected human to another through blood transfusion and mosquito bites. However, it isn’t contagious as it can’t be transferred directly from human to human.
2. SymptomsThe symptoms of Dengue fever generally appear only 3 to 14 days after the mosquito bite. The symptoms include
1. Flu-like illness for initial 3-4 days
2. Body pain
3. Retro orbital pain (Pain behind the eyes)
4. Decreased urine output
5. Respiratory difficulties
6. Abdominal pain
Note: Not all fevers lead to Dengue. However, a consultation and blood test are advised if the fever continues after three days.
3. TreatmentDengue patients are generally given paracetamol for the fever to subside. At home, patients should be covered with a wet sheet to bring down the temperature as high fever (105-106 degrees) can lead to organ damage. It is advisable to increase the patient’s intake of fluids (water, fruit juices and electrolyte solutions).
4. Prevention1. Cover pails and bucket when not in use so that they don’t collect excess water.
2. Don’t have any stagnant water nearby as they are often the breeding spots for mosquitoes.
3. Apply mosquito repellents on all exposed areas during day and night on regular basis during disease outbreak.
4. Wear light colored clothes that cover the extremities of your bodies well if you are going out during the day.
5. Install a mesh on your windows to keep the mosquitoes out.
6. Always cover your trash can when not in use.
5. Natural Ways To Keep Your Home Mosquito-Free1. Neem oil – Ratio of 1:1 of neem oil and coconut oil acts as a great indoor mosquito-repellent.
2. Eucalyptus and lemongrass oil – Both have antiseptic and insect-repellent properties when applied to the skin.
3. Camphor: Burn camphor in a closed room and leave it this way for 15-20 minutes for mosquito-free environment.
4. Tulsi – Plant a tulsi shrub near your window as they prevent mosquitoes from entering your house.
5. Garlic - Crush a few pods of garlic, boil them in water and sprinkle the water in the room you want to keep mosquito free.
6. Immunity Boosters1. Papaya Leaves: Papaya Leaves is proven to help increase platelet counts. Consume 1-2 tbsp. of the juice every day in the morning and night.
2. Fenugreek Leaves (Methi): They are known to reduce fever, ease pain and promote more restful sleep for patients. Soak these leaves in water and then drink it.
3. Tulsi Ginger Tea: Tulsi enhances increases oxygen utilization and boosts the immune system. Ginger helps in combating fever induced nausea and weakness.
7. Diet Tips For Dengue1. Increase your intake of fluids (such as ORS, tender coconut water, lime juice and fresh orange juice).
2. Increase your intake of Vitamin C (such as orange, pineapple, strawberry, guava, and kiwi) as they improve immunity and prevent dengue hemorrhagic fever.
3. No spicy and oily food 4. Snack on dry fruits like raisins and dates.
5. Avoid Caffeine and alcohol.
6. Indulge in a diet rich in protein (maybe curd, egg whites, cottage cheese, chicken and fish).