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Reality Bites!

27 08 2016

EK MACHHAR AADMI KO *#@&! BANA DETA HAI, says a popular bollywood movie dialogue.

While it may not be true to its words, there’s much more than what one sees through the naked eyes. Hospitals and the smaller polyclinics are completely occupied to its brim. Casualty wards too aren’t spared. It’s appears like an epidemic. Dr SM tells me, all of us are to be blamed. Look at the rampant bad practice of using plastic bags. All we do is to dump them all round the year. And one fine day when media has to brag it’s social awareness side, we leave no stone unturned to blame municipal authorities. Reality is “We do not want to change ourselves”!

Malaria, Dengue, Typhoid and Jaundice are the lethal bombs that one faces during the rainy season. Gone are the days when fever was just about our body resisting alien viruses inside us. Taking a prick is mandatory than a popping a pill these days. Dengue being amongst the most lethal of the quartet.

Dengue fever is a common communicable disease characterized by occurrence of high fever, severe body ache and intense headache. The disease is quite severe in young children as compared to adults. It is caused by a virus (Dengue Virus) and the common name of the disease is ‘break-bone fever’ “(Haddi Tod Bukhar)” because of severe body and joint pains produced. Just like in Malaria, Dengue fever is also spread by bites of mosquitoes. This disease occurs more frequently in the rainy season and immediately afterwards (July to October).

Symptoms depend upon the type of Dengue fever. There are three types of Dengue fever

• Classical (Simple) Dengue Fever: Sudden onset of high fever with feeling of chills (“Thandi Lagna”), Severe Headache, Pains in muscles and joints, Extreme weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, Rash on the skin etc.

• Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF): Above symptoms plus bleeding from gums, blood in stool/vomiting, bleeding spots on skin and tourniquet tests positive

• Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS): above all symptoms and feature of shock (loss of conscious, week pulse, low blood pressure etc.)

If it is classical (simple) Dengue Fever, the patient can be managed at home. As it is a self-limiting disease, the treatment is purely supportive and symptomatic like:

• Keep the fever low by giving paracetamol tablets or syrup as per doctor’s advice.

• Avoid giving Aspirin or Dispirin tablets to the patient

• If the fever is more than 102°F, carry out hydrotherapy to bring down the temperature.

• Give plenty of fluids water, shikanji (lemon juice) etc. to the patient.

• Continue normal feeding. In fever, the body, in fact, requires more food.

• Allow the patient to rest.

If any of the symptoms are indicative of DHF or DSS develop, rush the patient to the nearest hospital at the earliest where appropriate investigations can be carried out and necessary treatment instituted, e.g., transfusion of fluids or platelets (a kind of blood cells which become low in DHF and DSS).

Please remember that every patient does not require blood platelet transfusion.

Prevention:

Prevention of Dengue Fever is easy . Here are some simple measures for managing the disease:

• Preventing breeding of Aedes mosquitoes

• Protection from Aedes mosquitoes’ bites.

For protection against mosquitoes:

Mosquitoes breed only in water sources such as stagnant water in drains and ditches, room air coolers, broken bottles, old discarded tires, containers and similar sources. Don’t allow water to remain stagnant in and around your house. Fill the ditches. Clean the blocked drains. Empty the room air coolers and flower vases completely at least once in seven days and let them dry. Keep the water tanks and water containers tightly covered so that mosquitoes cannot enter them and start breeding. Wherever it is not possible to completely drain the water off then put about 30 ml of petrol or Kerosene oil in to it. Use mosquito repellent sprays, creams, coils, mats or liquids to drive away/ kill the mosquitoes. Use of googal – (Dhoop) smoke is a good indigenous method for getting rid of mosquitoes. Wear clothes which cover the body as much as possible.

It is therefore advisable to always keep the patient of Dengue fever under a mosquito net during the first 5-6 days of the illness so that mosquitoes don’t have an access to him/her. This will help reduce spread of Dengue fever to other persons in the Community.

While PRECAUTION and PREVENTION WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN CURE, the fact remains DENGUE remains a BIG threat and thats the REALITY, and REALITY BITES hard!

Remain safe and healthy.
Take Care.

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