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Dengue Fever in India: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention Strategies for the Rising Cases

Dr. Rahul Verma 13838 Views
Updated: 17 Jan 2024
Published: 27 Jun 2023
Symptoms of Dengue Fever in India

Dengue Fever in India

Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by female Aedes mosquitoes. In India, the first epidemic of clinical dengue-like illness was recorded in Chennai in 1780. The word “dengue” is derived from Swahili, meaning “cramp-like seizure” Most people with dengue have mild or no symptoms and get better in one to two weeks. Though, it has been noted that severe dengue can lead to death.

Transmission of Dengue

  1. Mosquito-to-human Transmission

    The dengue virus in India is transmitted through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Although other Aedes genus species are capable of acting as vectors, Aedes aegypti is the primary contributor.
     
  2. Human-to-mosquito transmission

    Mosquitoes can become infected by people too. Human-to-mosquito transmission can occur up to two days before someone shows the symptoms of the illness and up to two days after the fever has resolved.
     
  3. Maternal Transmission

    Mosquito vectors are involved in the main human-to-human mode of transmission of dengue. However, there is evidence suggesting that a pregnant woman could transmit the disease to her unborn child.
     
  4. Other Transmission

    Rare instances of transmission by transfusions, organ donation, and blood products have been documented. Similar to this, records of the virus's transovarial transmission within mosquitoes exist as well.

Symptoms of Dengue

While many patients with dengue might be asymptomatic, The symptoms of dengue are usually seen after four to ten days of getting the infection. The symptoms of dengue fever in India can be as follow:

  1. Severe Abdominal Pain
  2. Persistent vomiting
  3. Rapid Breathing 
  4. Bleeding gums or nose
  5. Fatigue
  6. Restlessness
  7. Blood in Vomit/Stool
  8. Being very thirsty
  9. Pale and cold skin
  10. Feeling weak

Prevention Of Dengue in India 

Prevention & Treatment of Dengue Fever

"Prevention is always better than cure" Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent dengue. Here are some practices to facilitate the same:

  • Dressed in clothing that covers as much of your body as possible
  • Mosquito netting: Ideally, if sleeping during the day, use mosquito nets sprayed with insecticide.
  • Window screens
  • Mosquito repellent 
  • Coils and vaporizers
  • Do not let stagnant water collect, as it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Keep the water sources covered 
  • Disinfect ponds and aquariums 
  • Keep your surroundings clean

Treatment of symptoms of dengue

If you get dengue, it is recommended to rest and consume ample amounts of fluids. While there is no proven treatment for dengue, doctors often prescribe paracetamol to handle the symptoms of dengue. One should also avoid taking anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin. It is a smart decision to watch out for severe symptoms of dengue and contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

There is a vaccine that has been approved called Dengavaxia for people who have had dengue at least once and live in places where the disease is common. 

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Testing for Dengue

Because the level of IgG that needs to be monitored in the test has a tendency to rise gradually, the immunoglobulin G (IgG) test is used to identify infection in the latter stages of the disease. IgG antibodies often start to be detected at low levels 14 to 21 days after infection, and then they gradually increase. These antibodies can linger in the blood for up to 90 days, and in some situations, they may do so indefinitely.

After 14 to 21 days of infection, or even later as these antibodies continue to circulate in the blood for several months after infection, you can get an IgG antibody test for dengue. IgG antibodies are a symptom of prior dengue infection, dengue recovery, or recent dengue immunization.

Complete Blood Count test for Dengue

Oftentimes, dengue is linked to a lower platelet count (normal platelet count lies in the range of 1.5 to 4 lacs). Thus, the platelet count should be carefully and frequently examined, especially when the fever subsides.

A patient's platelet count and total white blood cells (WBC) count may both decline if they test positive for dengue-specific antigen. Yet, it's crucial to understand that platelet counts are not the only factor in the diagnosis of dengue.

The lab tests listed above can assist in identifying and confirming dengue fever. However, if the tests are not carried out at a certain time of sickness, it is likely that some of these tests will miss a diagnosis in a small number of patients. 

If you are facing the symptoms of dengue, then it is well advised to go to a physician and get tested on their recommendation. If you want to book a test, you can find it on the website of Pathkind Lab, and we will be happy to help!

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