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National Dengue Day 2024: Symptoms and ways to keep your child safe

Dengue is a viral infection caused when an individual is bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus; this National Dengue Day know about its major symptoms and ways to prevent it

Dengue Day

Dengue Day. Photo: Shutterstock

Sonika Nitin Nimje New Delhi

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The onset of the monsoon season escalates the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Stagnant water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, leading to a surge in dengue cases during this period. Aedes mosquitoes, carriers of the dengue virus, transmit the disease to humans.
It is estimated that each year, about 390 million dengue infections occur around the world, resulting in up to 36,000 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) says about half of the world's population is now at risk of dengue.

Symptoms and severity of dengue fever

Dengue fever presents with high fever, severe headache, rash, fatigue, and joint and muscle pain. A more severe form, known as dengue haemorrhagic fever, can be fatal, especially in children. Therefore, it is crucial to protect children from this debilitating disease.

What is severe dengue

Severe dengue, also referred to as dengue haemorrhagic fever, can lead to serious complications and may also be life-threatening. In severe cases, an individual's blood vessels become damaged and leaky, and their platelet count drops significantly.

Signs of severe dengue

Most people with dengue exhibit mild symptoms for one to two weeks. However, severe dengue requires hospitalisation. Symptoms of severe dengue include:
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pale and cold skin
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
These symptoms typically appear 24-48 hours after the fever subsides. Individuals infected a second time are at a higher risk of developing severe dengue.

Complications of severe dengue

Severe dengue is a medical emergency that can result in shock, internal bleeding, organ failure, and death. A significant drop in blood pressure can cause shock, while low platelet counts contribute to internal bleeding. Recognising the signs and symptoms of severe dengue is vital, and immediate medical attention can prevent it from becoming life-threatening.

Prevention strategies

Preventing dengue involves controlling mosquito population and avoiding mosquito bites. Residents and travellers in dengue-prone areas should use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved clothing, and sleep under mosquito nets. Eliminating stagnant water sources where mosquitoes breed can help reduce transmission.
Urbanisation, climate change, and population movements also contribute to the spread of dengue, according to medical experts. While there has been advancements in vaccines, the current ones remain limited in scope and availability.
Early detection of dengue symptoms is crucial for timely intervention and improved outcomes. Vigilance during outbreaks or in high-risk areas is essential. By recognising the signs, seeking immediate medical care, and implementing preventive measures, one can mitigate the impact of this deadly disease on general health.

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First Published: May 16 2024 | 5:29 PM IST

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