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Dangers of Mosquito Borne Diseases - Dengue fever

Last year Delhi witnessed the worst dengue outbreak in the last two decades. 10683 is the number of deaths officially reported by the government, the actual numbers are said to be much higher. India being a tropical country is home to a large number of mosquitoes, which bring with them imminent problems of mosquito borne diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria etc.

Given the size of the Indian population, the diseases spread much faster and wider amongst the masses given the overall bad condition of hygiene and awareness across the nation. Apart from the northern state of Jammu Kashmir, most other states are heavily infested with mosquitoes, especially in the agricultural and industrial belts of the country. That being said, awareness about the dangers of mosquito borne diseases like dengue needs to be extensively created to curb the death toll numbers.

Here is a list of the dangers of the rather taxing disease

  1. Severe Dehydration: Dengue is known to cause dehydration by internal loss of plasma and a drop in the platelet count. The reduced platelet counts make it difficult for blood to clot in case of injuries. Such dehydration and drop in platelet count can be severely fatal. To counter this, the patient’s fluid intake should be kept high. If need be, an IV should be set up by doctors. While the severity of dengue in kids is usually low, they still need monitoring on a regular hourly basis for proper treatment and recovery.
  2. Diagnostic problems: Symptoms of dengue fever are similar to that of viral fever, flu etc and can easily be misdiagnosed if enough attention is not paid. Wrong diagnoses can causes problems due to wrong medication. A lot of patients self-administer aspirin or ibubrufen for headaches and body pain. This can be a fatal mistake if the person is infected with dengue since these medications are a complete NO for dengue patients as it can cause internal bleeding. This kind of bleeding can cause severe complications given the reduced blood clotting capacity of the body when infected. While dengue in itself may not have been that severe, misdiagnosis can cause a lot of complication and even mortality in rare cases if not caught in time.
  3. Fever: While fevers are normal, dengue tends to have sudden bouts of high fever. Fevers at 104F and above are known to cause a lot of damage to the body including the brain in some cases. Fevers in dengue patients need to be vigilant monitoring despite what people might say. It is imperative to keep the fevers under control and might need hospitalization if it shoots too high too suddenly.

These are just some of the possibly fatal dangers of dengue fever. While the symptoms may not get that severe in kids, the whole experience of going through the symptoms may be traumatic to the kids and their delicate constitutions. The best way to keep kids safe is to be aware, follow good cleanliness habits and have adequate mosquito protection in place.

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