Dengue Risk in children – Early Symptoms & Safeguards
Come the rainy season, we anticipate the risk of Dengue and think of ways to protect our little ones. Although, our beliefs are true to some extent, but there are many other reasons for spreading of Dengue. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito. The threat of Dengue is more prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical areas like Asia, Africa, Central America and South America.
According to WHO, ‘about half of the world’s population is now at risk of Dengue, with estimate of 3.9 billion people in 128 countries, are at risk of infection with dengue viruses’. India is no exception and remains at high risk of this infection, as there has been a rise by 300% in dengue case from 2014- 2016 according to report published by The Lancet and Hindustan Times.
What are the Symptoms? Generally infected person has no symptoms or the young children may only shows mild symptoms such as a regular flu-fever. In children symptoms could be fever, cold, tiredness, pain in abdomen, mild bleeding from gum or nose, skin rashes, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, muscle or joint pain, severe headache, nausea and loss of appetite. These symptoms may last from about 2 days to a week.
The condition may worsen and lead to severe Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Its symptoms include severe abdominal pain, continuous vomiting with or without blood, bleeding from gum or nose, and respiratory complications and considerable drop in blood pressure. This condition could be fetal and need immediate medical attention.
Treatment: There is no approved immunization or antiviral available in India for dengue. Generally, supportive treatment for the symptoms can be administered through close monitoring, symptoms recognition or diagnosis of patient’s condition. Protection from the mosquito bite is the best way to prevent this infection.
Prevention: Dengue causing mosquitoes breed and spread indoor or outdoor in stagnant water and uncleaned places inside the house, storage, under beds, behind curtains, dustbins, unclean toilets, drainage, etc. While the rainy season in particular creates the avenues for these mosquitoes grow, they can very well survive and thrive in badly maintained surrounding during any season. There are some myths about Dengue occurrence in remote, backward and area close to water and vegetation, in fact it is more prevalent in urban & sub-urban areas due to large population density. Also it is commonly believed that these mosquitos’ feeds during day time, but a well light-up urban area keep them active even during night time.
How can I safeguard my child from Dengue?
Hygienic is the key, ensure your house and surrounding are clean and there is no stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed in. Clean the water usage container and keep their leads closed to not allow the breeding place for the mosquitoes. Clear the unwanted and harmful vegetation around the house. Using plants that are natural mosquito repellent like Holy Basil, citronella grass, rosemary and scented geraniums is a good idea. Install mosquito meshes on windows & doors, and open the vents during daytime to make the way out for mosquitoes and close them before it gets dark to keep the uninvited guests out. Recommended fumigation in and around your community would keep the mosquitoes at the bay. To protect children it is recommended to use child friendly and natural repellants. Use a long sleeves and lite colored clothing to cover the body parts. Avoid wearing strong smell substance that may attract the mosquitoes.
Nobody is safe from Dengue, but you can certainly protect your loved ones through awareness, timely diagnosis and right care. Carengrow’s patent pending health care system assists in prevention and timely diagnosis of this illness.