Summer is already is here and it will soon be followed by the Monsoon. However as the rains arrive, the danger of dengue will soon hit us all. As we often hear, prevention is better than cure. Hence it’s best that as we enjoy the rainy season, we take care of ourselves and our families so the fun doesn’t end with an unfortunate event.
According to World Health Organization, Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. Symptoms appear in 3–14 days (average 4–7 days) after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. (Source: WHO)
A report by WHO suggests that the current epidemic has caused to date 16,580 confirmed cases and 257 deaths in Lahore and nearly 5,000 cases and 60 deaths reported from the rest of the country. (Source: WHO)
A dengue patient has a low thrombocyte count. Which means they have less platelets and in case they bleed, the bleeding will be unstoppable.
- Don’t leave water bodies lying around. If there are pails of water in your house or outside it, make sure you empty them. Even if you have plants that grown in water only, make sure you change the water on a daily basis.
- Whenever you water plants, make sure to clean the extra water that lies outside the pots. Water (especially fresh) is a great source of dengue mosquito breeding. Hence it is best to avoid any chance of helping these harmful entities breed.
- Apply mosquito repellent all over your body, in night as well as the day.
- You can use Neem oil or Neem water (by boiling Neem leaves) and apply that all over your body. This is a cheap and effective method with no side effects.
- The dengue mosquito is a day-time attacker. So be careful and be prepared. Do not take your safety lightly.
- The dengue mosquito usually bites below the knee. If you are sitting around outside at night or during the day, wear long shorts or pants that cover your calves, ankles and feet. Children going out to play at the park should wear clothes that completely cover their arms, legs and feet.
- Try cooperating with your neighbors and arrange for a person who cleans the water in your street on a daily basis. You need to keep your family safe, and neglecting such tasks can put you in danger.
- Always keep your trash cans covered. Try changing the trash can bag as often as you can.
- Plant a Tulsi plant near your windows or outside your house as it keeps away mosquitoes.
- Planting a Neem tree outside your house also decreases the chances of a dengue mosquito entering your house.
- It’s natural to want to open your windows to combat heat, but make sure the windows re-lined with a net.
- Use an electric mosquito repellent device.
Check for the following symptoms and act immediately:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen glands
- Muscle and joint pain
- Skin rash (in some cases)
The more severe forms of dengue are hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Remember, dengue mosquitoes do not breed in rivers, swamps, creeks, bush land or mangroves; they breed in containers in our backyard.
How to Treat Dengue at Home
- Drink a lot of water
- Take pain killers (first consult a doctor for any contraindications with your health)
- Whenever you feel feverish during the dengue season, make sure to take vitamin C supplements or orange/lemon juice to help build your platelets
- Have guava juice
- Have honey mixed with warm water
- Boil papaya leaves and have them twice daily