Contributed by – Healthians team
Dengue is a major public health concern in our country. While awareness regarding Dengue is high, it continues to threaten our lives, especially during monsoon months, when the environment becomes a perfect breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes. You can get infected by the disease if it is common in your area or in a place or country you have recently visited. No matter how short your trip is, you will be vulnerable to dengue in such an area.
Dengue virus is from the Flaviviridae family of viruses and Aedes aegypti mosquito is its carrier. These mosquitoes breed in fresh standing water such as puddles or collected rainwater. And that is why all the dengue awareness messages urge you not to let water get collected in and around your house in any way.
Symptoms of dengue usually take 4 to 6 days to appear. High fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding are typical symptoms of dengue that you’ll notice in stages. These symptoms can be mild or severe. Usually, young children and people who have never had dengue infection have milder symptoms than older people and those with a history of dengue infection.
[Also read: Know the warning signs of dengue]
The sad part is that there’s no dengue vaccine yet. However, dengue is a self-limiting disease. It means that it clears up by itself usually in a couple of weeks. But, for that to happen, you need to take all the precautions actively. You need to take good care of yourself or the infected person because dengue infection has the potential of getting out of control and causing severe complications.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) can be the result of dengue complications. DHF is a potentially fatal complication of dengue. It can cause an enlarged liver and lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure which is called DSS. Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever are similar to those of dengue, while signs of DSS include cold skin, weak rapid pulse, irregular breathing, and dilated pupils.
Since dengue infection is self-limiting and resolves in a few weeks in most cases, most people tend to take proper care and every precaution only when they are suffering from it. But, as soon as they feel healthy, they forget about all the precautions. And this is exactly the mistake that we don’t want you to make. Dengue complications can haunt you for months after its resolution and you need to take proper care to save yourself.
[Also read: A complete guidebook on dengue]
What happens here is that after recovery, the virus can trigger an immune response that can cause devastating effects to the brain, kidney, heart, nerves, and other vital organs. In fact, in 2019, a group of Sri Lankan scientists published an article where it was found that more than half of their participants experienced dengue symptoms following symptomatic dengue disease like fever, headache, insomnia, alopecia, dizziness, poor appetite, itch, and bleeding. Evidently, it suggests that dengue can result in prolonged clinical disease after the resolution of the acute phase. Therefore, you need to take post dengue precautions to prevent this effect of dengue after recovery.
Here are some points that can help you with post-dengue care:
- Include nutrient-rich foods like pomegranate, papaya, spinach, broccoli, orange, coconut, carrots, or cucumber in your diet.
- Nutrient-rich fluids like fresh fruit and vegetable juices, ORS, coconut water, and lime juice can also benefit.
- Dairy products are very much recommended. So, make sure they are a part of your diet.
- Eggs, chicken, and fish are also good sources of protein that are recommended.
- Stay away from spicy and oily food. They’ll only cause harm to your recovery journey.
- Do not let water collect anywhere to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Additionally, use mosquito repellent products to get rid of them. The presence of mosquitoes will enable the virus to travel from an infected person to a mosquito which can infect another healthy individual.
We need more dengue awareness to help people understand dengue complications and the importance of post-dengue care. We hope that these points will help you stay safe and you will put all the efforts to spread the information. Besides, if you think that you or your loved ones might be infected, you can always get a dengue test done to confirm. Even if symptoms are mild, early identification will only ease the treatment and make the recovery quick.