With the arrival of the monsoon season, Delhi has been experiencing heavy rainfall for the past few days. While the downpour has resulted in flooded roads, submerged cars, and unfortunately, loss of lives, it has posed another threat - an increase in cases of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Dengue is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. There are two forms of dengue - classical dengue fever, also known as "break bone" fever, and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), which is life-threatening. According to data shared by civic authorities, Delhi has recorded 136 cases of dengue so far this year until July 8. Out of these cases, 40 were reported in June, 23 in May, and 14 have been reported from July 1-8.
The early warning symptoms of dengue usually develop 5-6 days after being bitten. These symptoms include sudden high-grade fever, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, severe headache, abdominal fullness and discomfort, and a skin rash with red spots appearing on the 5th day of illness. During this time, health experts advise taking timely medical advice and to take consultation as soon as the first signs or symptoms show. To prevent getting infected with dengue, Dr Tushar Tayal, Consultant of Internal Medicine at CK Birla Hospital said to use a repellent containing 20 per cent to 30 per cent DEET or 20 per cent Picaridin on exposed skin.
In fact, one should wear long-sleeved, breathable garments in neutral colours. “Wear neutral-coloured (beige, light grey) long-sleeved and breathable garments,” said Dr Tayal. It is also crucial to eliminate water containers around dwellings and ensure that door and window screens are in good working condition. Dr Mugdha Tapdiya, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj advised eliminating mosquito breeding sites by emptying, covering, or treating containers that hold water as stagnant water is a common breeding area for mosquitoes. Dr Tapdiya added not to expose your skin in open environments. “Do not expose your skin in open environments. We must wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes to minimise the risk of mosquito bites. Use mosquito nets or screens on windows and doors to avoid the entry of mosquitoes inside your home or workplace,” the expert said. Avoid outdoor activities typically during the early morning and late afternoon as it is the peak mosquito activity time. Get plenty of rest and drink fluids to stay hydrated. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of dengue or suspect you have been exposed to the virus. When it comes to treatment, Dr Tapdiya advised not to self-medicate with medications containing aspirin or NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as it may lead to complications affecting the immune system of the patient.
Delhi recorded 136 cases of dengue this year.
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
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