Dengue fever is one of the most common mosquito-borne viral diseases affecting the population of India. The entire nation has been trying to combat this increasingly spreading disease, affecting humans. Currently, India is facing an outbreak of dengue fever, one which is impacting multiple lives across the nation. Some states, such as Rajasthan, have recorded very high numbers of dengue fever in India. Despite being a dry state – Rajasthan has been an active breeding ground for hundreds of mosquitoes. Today, the state is suffering from hospitals full of patients who need diagnosis, awareness and medication to treat dengue.

In 2018, the state of Rajasthan was among the top 6 states to witness more than 3,000 dengue cases till September and recorded 4 death dues to dengue fever. In 2017, the state had 14 deaths due to the dengue virus; while as of today, the state has recorded more than 12 deaths due to dengue. Further, the number of people diagnosed with dengue in Rajasthan this year so far is at an all-time high of 7,981. The State Health Department found four-lakh breeding mosquito sites between August to November. With such alarming rates of the disease spreading in the state, the Government is under immense pressure to control the outbreak.

Some of the steps taken by the Government of Rajasthan to control the spread of dengue fever are:

  • Setting up control rooms and rapid response teams across the state
  • Free blood tests to control the outbreak
  • Carrying-out of anti-larval activities across the state
  • House-to-house surveys to identify high-risk clusters and infected people
  • Regular fogging
  • Strict directions to doctors and hospitals to not neglect any suspected case of mosquito-borne disease
  • Setting up of different OPDs to provide attentive and ready care
  • Hospitals have been directed to stock up additional medicines and equipment 

More so, awareness about the disease, its causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention – must be spread among people in Rajasthan to control the dengue virus outbreak.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by four closely related viruses related, which spread through the Aedes mosquitoes. The fever is spread through the bite of an Aedes mosquito that is carrying the dengue virus. This species of mosquito can breed inside or outside the house in containers holding water and do not have the capacity to fly more than 200 metres away from their place of birth. The Aedes Mosquito is most active during the early hours of the morning and before sunset. Dengue fever is extremely painful, debilitating and often causes high fever, along with headache and extreme muscle or joint pain.  

Causes of Dengue Fever

Dengue is spread via particular species of mosquito known as Aedes that transmits four closely related dengue viruses called as DENV. The Aedes mosquito transfers the virus into a human being by bite, thereafter the chain continues when a normal mosquito bites the dengue infected person, it becomes a carrier of the virus and it spreads further. The Aedes mosquito can breed inside or outside the house in containers that hold water for long, but they do not breed in pools, creeks or other water bodies.  

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever can cause serious health complications and in severe cases can be fatal, if not detected and treated on time. Some common symptoms that can help detect the dengue fever are:

  • Unexplained, sudden high fever
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash on the skin
  • Rashes on the eyes
  • Severe weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Acute bone, joint and muscle pain
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Mild bleeding
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Swollen glands

Sometimes, the symptoms are mild and hence, are considered to be indications of flu, fever or a normal infection. That said, dengue symptoms tend to appear after 4 to 7 days of the bite from the infected mosquito. 

Treatment for Dengue Fever

The first step of the treatment would be the detection of dengue virus that is done via blood tests. Once detected, depending on the severity of the case, further course of treatment is suggested. That said, there is no particular medication to treat dengue directly. Mild cases of dengue fever can take pain killers that have acetaminophen or paracetamol components, and strictly avoid any aspirin-containing medicines. In any case, contacting a doctor is must to know the intensity of the infection. Meanwhile, you should take rest and increase intake more fluids. For cases, where symptoms intensify, immediate medical attention is needed. 

Prevention of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a result of the bite of the Aedes mosquito; thus, it the best course of preventing dengue is to stop the birth and breeding of Aedes mosquito. The following preventive methods can help stop the breeding of the dengue carriers:

  • Get rid of any containers placed under the air conditioners or coolers
  • Do not store water in containers – inside or outside – and leave them open
  • Maintain distance from anything that has stored clear stagnant water
  • Change the feeding bowls for pets
  • Pour fresh water in flower vases every day
  • Remove any excess water in flower pots or plates
  • Check your water tanks for proper seal
  • Use mosquito repellents and mosquito nets all the time
  • Wear fully covered clothes
  • Use air conditioners to keep mosquitoes away
  • Keep all windows and doors closed
  • Do not apply strong perfumes or soaps, since smell attracts mosquitoes
  • Do not walk outside at dawn or dusk
  • Do not take shelter under the trees at dawn or dusk

There is a dire need to stop the spread of dengue fever in Rajasthan that has been claiming the lives of many people and also impacting the lives and health of others significantly. Regular health check-ups and alertness towards symptoms can really help to combat the problem effectively.