Sunday, March 25, 2012

About Dengue Fever ..

Dengue (or denggi) is one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in Malaysia. It is so common that the Health Ministry maintains a current dengue report on its homepage, updated weekly. Dengue causes a high fever and a rash. Most people with dengue will be ill for about 10 days and, with the right treatment, will then recover. 

How does dengue spread? 

The female tiger mosquito spreads the dengue virus. Unlike most mosquitoes, dengue-causing mosquitoes bite during the day. 

These mosquitoes breed in warm, humid weather and in stagnant water. This is why the number of dengue cases increases during the monsoon season. 

What are the symptoms of dengue fever? 

Dengue in infants and toddlers usually starts with the symptoms of a viral illness: Older children may have:
  • a high fever;
  • pain behind the eyes and in the joints;
  • backaches and headaches.
They may also develop a red and white patchy skin rash. This may be followed by:
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea;
  • vommiting;
  • itchiness on the soles of the feet.
Most people with dengue feel very weak. This can last for some time after the illness.

What do I do if I think my child has dengue fever? 

If your child has a fever and skin rashes or aching joints, contact your doctor immediately. As the symptoms of dengue and chikungunya are similar, your doctor may ask for a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. 

There is no specific cure for dengue, but there is treatment for the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe paracetamol for the fever. Don't give your child any anti-inflammatories - they could affect your child's blood platelets. 

You can:
  • make sure your child gets plenty of rest;
  • give him light and nourishing food;
  • put a wet cloth on his forehead every so often to help bring the fever down.
Dengue may last up to 10 days, but some people may continue feeling tired for up to a month. 

How can I reduce the chances of my child picking up dengue? 

There is no vaccine against dengue. The best way to protect your child is to get rid of the mosquitoes that spread the virus. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Make sure your house and the surrounding area is free of stagnant water, rotting vegetation and old flowerpots, especially in the monsoon season. 

You could also: 
  • dress your child in long-sleeved clothing and trousers to reduce exposed skin;

  • dress your child wear light-coloured clothes (dark colours attract mosquitoes);

  • use citronella oil-based creams and sprays or other herbal mosquito repellents;

  • use mosquito nets while sleeping;

  • if you do not already have them, install mosquito meshes on windows;

  • air conditioning also helps keeps mosquitoes at bay.
Even if your child has had an attack of dengue, it does not give him immunity against the other three closely-related, but distinct dengue viruses. Untreated dengue can develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) which can cause bleeding, liver failure, convulsions and even death. Also, dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) usually develops in people who have already had dengue. So, prevention is very important. 

Also read about malaria and chikungunya in babies and children. 

Expecting? Find out how you can protect yourself from malariadengue andchikungunya during pregnancy. 

Are other mums worried about dengue? Ask them! You'll find them today in ourParenting forum. 

No comments:

Post a Comment