Dengue Fever: Things You Should Know About

Why you should worry about Dengue Fever?


According to National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), there are a total of 38,080 of dengue cases were reported nationwide up to May 22 in year 2019.

Selangor, being the most populous state, topped the list with 22,343 dengue cases, which is almost two third of all cases in Malaysia. This is followed by Kuala Lumpur (3,084), Johor (3,051), Penang (2,173), Sabah (1,717) and Kelantan (1,164).1

Ministry of Health also emphasized about the spike of Dengue Fever cases in this year. This increase of cases is because of the lack of immunity to the changes in the dengue virus type among Malaysian. With the changes in the weather, type of Dengue also changes.2

 

What Are The Symptoms?

Dengue fever3

Dengue fever usually occurs after an incubation period of 4-10 days after the bite of the infected mosquito. Dengue causes flu-like symptoms and lasts for 2-7 days.

High Fever (40°C) is usually accompanied by at least 2 of these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Pain behind eyes
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Joint, bone or muscle pains
  • Rash
  •  

Severe dengue3

It takes around 3-7 days after the first sign of illness to develop into a more critical phase, severe dengue. During this phase, temperature will decrease. But this does not mean the person is recovering. Below symptoms are the symptoms if severe dengue that need to be aware of 

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Bleeding gums
  • Vomiting blood
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fatigue/ restlessness

 

When severe dengue is suspected, the patient should be brought to the closest health care provider as emergency. This is because there will be plasma leaking that may lead to shock, fluid accumulation and respiratory distress, severe bleeding, and even severe organ impairment.

Without proper treatment and care, Severe Dengue Fever can result in death.

 

What is The Treatment to Cure Dengue Fever?4

Dengue fever is caused by a virus, so there is no specific treatment or cure. However, with proper intervention, can lowered patients risk and mortality rate..

 

For mild dengue fever forms, treatment includes:

 

1) Preventing dehydration: A high fever and vomiting can dehydrate the body. The person should drink clean water, ideally bottled rather than tap water. Rehydration salts can also help replace fluids and minerals.

 

2) Medications: Painkillers, such as paracetamol can help lower fever and ease pain. Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, are not advised, as they can increase the risk of internal bleeding.

 

For Severe dengue fever, may need:

Intravenous (IV) fluid supplementation, if the person cannot take fluids by oral. For patients with severe dehydration, hospitalization will allow the individual to be properly monitored, in case symptoms get worse.

 

What is the Role of Papaya Leaf in Treating Dengue Fever?

Papaya Leaf is probably the most well-known alternative treatment for dengue fever among public. The main effect of papaya leaf lies in raising the platelet level in dengue patients. 

Platelet level is an important parameter of Dengue Fever. Platelets are the cells tha circulates in our bloodstream and bind together to stop the bleeding when they recognized any damaged in blood vessels.

Consuming papaya in generally safe for all people, and also taking it does not contradict with medical advice. But always get advice from professional medical practitioner before taking papaya leaf. You can buy papaya leaf extract in capsule form 

 

What to do to Prevent Ourselves from Dengue Fever? 4

Even though there is no cure for Dengue Fever yet, prevention is still always a beter option. No vaccine can protect against dengue fever. Only avoiding mosquito bites can prevent it.

Anyone who lives in or travels to an at-risk area can use a some ways to avoid being bitten.

 

Clothing: Reduce the amount of skin exposed by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, tucking pant legs into shoes or socks, and wearing a hat.

Mosquito repellents: Use a repellent with at least 10 percent concentration of diethyltoluamide (DEET), or a higher concentration for longer lengths of exposure. Avoid using DEET on young children. You can buy mosquito repellents at pharmacy stores nearvy.

Door and window screens: Install door and window screens at high risk area. Structural barriers, such as screens or netting, can keep mosquitos out.

Avoid scents: Heavily scented soaps and perfumes may attract mosquitos.

Timing: Try to avoid being outside at dawn, dusk, and early evening. 

Stagnant water: The Aedes mosquito breeds in clean, stagnant water. Checking for and removing stagnant water around your living places can help reduce the risk.

To reduce the risk of mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water:

  • turn buckets and containers over or store them under shelter so that water cannot accumulate
  • remove excess water from plant pot.
  • scrub containers to remove mosquito eggs
  • loosen soil from potted plants, to prevent puddles forming on the surface
  • make sure scupper drains are not blocked and do not place potted plants and other objects over them
  • do not place receptacles under an air-conditioning unit
  • change the water in flower vases every second day and scrub and rinse the inside of the vase
  • prevent leaves from blocking anything that may result in the accumulation of puddles or stagnant water

 

References

1. Worrying Dengue Statistics in Malaysia. Things You Should Know. Life Engineering. (Web accessed August  2019). Web link: https://www.lifeengineering.my/dengue-statistics-in-malaysia/

2. Health Ministry: Dengue cases expected to spike this year. Health Minstry of Malaysia. (Web accessed August 2019) Web link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/02/24/health-ministry-dengue-cases-expected-to-spike-this-year#lhstT3Q9VZEztPsD.99

3. Dengue Control. World Health Organization (WHO).(Web accessed August 2019). Web link: 

https://www.who.int/denguecontrol/faq/en/index2.html 

4. Everything you need to know about Dengue Fever. Medical News Today. (Web Accessed August 2019). Web Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179471.php

 The health effects of overweight and obesity. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Web accessed February 2019). Web link: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html