Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dengue Fever Signs, Symptoms and Preventions

Dengue fever (DF), a benign acute febrile syndrome, has been called the most vital mosquito-transmitted viral disease. It is systemic disease caused by one of four sero-types of virus from the genus Flavivirus, which also includes the pathogens responsible for yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.

Dengue most often manifests itself with the sudden onset of the fever five to eight days after a bite from one of several species of Aedes mosquito, including A. aegyptii, A. albopictus, and A. scutellaris.
After two to four days of headache, fever, and muscle aches, the disease eases for 12 to 48 hours before returning with a skin rash, chills, swollen and reddened eyes, and the severe joint pains that caused Rush to name it “break bone fever,” an eponym that remains in use. Dengue fever is usually benign and self limited, but a small number of cases will progress to the hemorrhagic form, in which bleeding from multiple organs and mucosal surfaces occurs and for which the mortality is about 5 percent. No vaccine is available for dengue, and there is no effective treatment. Because the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are day-biting, mosquito netting is of limited usefulness, and the only effective means of control has been to eliminate the Aedes vectors.

Symptoms and Signs of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is characterized by acute onset of high fever, frontal headache, retro-orbital pain, myalgia, arthralgias, nausea, vomiting, and often maculopapular rash and hemorrhagic manifestations.
Severity ranges from asymptomatic infections to fatal hypotensive and hemorrhagic disease. Hemorrhagic manifestations are usually skin hemorrhages (i.e., petechiae, Purpura, or ecchymoses), but may also include epistaxis bleeding gums, haematemesis, and melaena.
The acute phase of illness lasts approximately a week, whereas convalescence, characterized by weakness, malaise, and anorexia, may last 1-2 weeks. DHF may initially resemble dengue fever. As fever subsides, thrombocytopenia and hemoconcentration due to vascular plasma leakage may develop, resulting in circulatory failure and severe hemorrhage. Warning signs for Dengue Shock Syndrome include severe abdominal pain, protracted vomiting, marked temperature change (from fever to hypothermia), or change in mental status (irritability or obtundation). DSS, which can lead to profound shock and death, can develop rapidly. Early signs include cold clammy skin, restlessness, rapid weak pulse, narrowing of pulse pressure, or hypotension. DHF and DSS can occur in both children and adults.

Treatment of dengue fever

A major problem associated with dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome is the severe increase of vascular permeability, resulting in the loss of up to 20% of plasma volume from the vascular compartments. This plasma leakage often leads to shock, and under some conditions, to death. Early detection of this state and quick replacement of body fluid with electrolyte solutions can reverse DSS quite effectively.
In the case of DHF, where high body temperature is also a concern, regulated doses of paracetamol (Tylenol) are a useful treatment.
Dengue shock syndrome patients need to be closely observed for the onset of shock. Determination of hematocrit (the percent of whole blood composed of red blood cells) is important. It should be determined daily from the third day of illness. If determination of hematocrit is not possible then hemoglobin levels should be determined accurately.
In DSS the state of shock is a medical emergency. The patient should be immediately given plasma replacement and then methodically checked. Because of the large volume of fluid replacement there might be a drop in hematocrit toward the later part of the treatment, but that should not be interpreted as sign of internal hemorrhage, particularly if the patient has a strong pulse and correct blood pressure.
Restlessness is often a major problem in children with DSS. Use of sedatives to help these children sleep can provide symptomatic relief. But long acting sedatives should be avoided.
Oxygen might be required to treat patients in shock but it should be managed carefully by competent nurses.
If there are patients with a significant amount of bleeding, blood transfusions might be required. Internal bleeding may be difficult to detect. A sharp drop of hematocrit with no signs of improvements in spite of adequate fluid replacement indicates significant internal bleeding.

Homeopathic treatment of dengue fever - Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat dengue fever but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to cure dengue fever symptoms that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.  For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of dengue fever symptoms:
Rhus Tox, Bryonia, pulsatilla, Veratrum album, Nux Vom, Natrum Mur, Phosphorous, Ipecauc, Sanguinaria, Arsenic Album, Lobelia Inflate, Chamomilla  and many other medicines.


Change water in vases/ bowls every other day.
Add sand granular insecticide to water.
  • Remove water from flower pot plates every other day.
  • Turn over all storage containers
  • Inform your parents or any adults in your household to cover bamboo pole holders when not in use.
  • Clear blockages and put Bti insecticide in roof gutters at least once a month.
  • Check your landscape structures for any water retention & mosquito breeding regularly.
  • Remove these structures if possible. Add in prescribed amounts of sand granular insecticides to stagnant water.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirt
  • Use mosquito repellents
  • Mosquito coils
  • Mosquito nets

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