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Dengue Fever: Treatment, Prevention and a Global Community

September 10, 2022

Dengue Fever: Treatment, Prevention and a Global Community

 

A group of Australian companies and entrepreneurs are helping to raise money and awareness for the oncoming Dengue Fever season in Sri Lanka and finding ways to help the local communities manage it.

This article outlines the issues many Sri Lankan’s face every year and what can be done to help.

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What is Dengue Fever?

 

Dengue (DENG-gey) fever is a mosquito-borne illness that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

There are four different strains of dengue virus (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, and DENV 4). Each type of dengue virus produces its own set of symptoms. However, all four types cause similar symptoms, making them hard to distinguish.

Dengue fever is an illness caused by a virus transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. It causes flu-like symptoms including high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, rash, and sometimes bleeding.

The disease is most common in tropical areas where there are large numbers of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. The mosquito carrying dengue virus bites during daytime when people are outdoors working or playing. People who have been bitten by infected mosquitoes may develop dengue fever within 2 weeks after they were bitten. Dengue fever usually lasts for several days but can last longer.

Most patients recover without treatment. However, if they have any of these signs or symptoms, they should call their doctor right away.

• Severe abdominal pain
• Blood in urine (hematuria)
• Bleeding under the skin (petechiae)
• Headache that doesn’t go away

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Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

 

Because each strain of dengue virus causes a unique set of symptoms, doctors use laboratory tests to identify the exact strain of dengue causing the patient’s illness. This helps determine whether the patient needs treatment for dengue fever or another condition.

There is no vaccine available to prevent dengue fever. However, there are several medications used to treat symptoms, including painkillers, anti-nausea drugs, and antibiotics. Some patients may need hospitalization for severe cases.

What is the best treatment for dengue fever?

 

A person is at risk of dengue fever if they live or travel in an area where dengue occurs and mosquitoes that can carry it live. About 1 in 20 people sick with dengue will develop severe dengue after their initial symptoms begin to fade. If a person has severe dengue and is treated immediately at a hospital or medical facility, that person has a greater than 99% chance of recovering.

If they have dengue fever, they should avoid other OTC pain relievers, including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).

To treat severe cases of dengue fever at a hospital, doctors will give intravenous (IV) fluids and electrolytes (salts) to replace those lost through vomiting or diarrhea.

What is the fastest way to prevent dengue?

 

Although there is no remedy, scientifically proven Dengue vaccine or prevention of dengue fever, there is more than one strategy for dengue prevention and can still be taken will help to prevent and protect against getting infected with dengue fever.

Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, or invest in insect screens. While keepingdoors and windows closed as much as possible is a good way to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from getting in, this is not always the most practical idea.

Control measures are effective in reducing the incidence of dengue fever. These include larval source management, environmental sanitation, and community participation.

Larvae are the immature form of mosquitoes that live in water. They feed on decaying organic matter and excrete waste materials that provide nutrients for plant growth. Larvae are found in stagnant water sources such as ponds, tanks, and gutters.

Environmental sanitation refers to removing breeding sites of larvae. Environmental sanitation can be achieved through regular cleaning of drains and gutters, emptying of containers holding standing water, removal of rubbish, and covering of open spaces with netting.

Community participation involves educating communities about the importance of eliminating breeding sites and encouraging them to participate in cleanups. Community members should be involved in identifying and reporting breeding sites and removing them.

Prevalence of Dengue Fever

 

Dengueaffects over 100 million people annually worldwide. It is endemic in many countries including Sri Lanka where there were approximately 1.5 million cases reported in 2017.

The economic impact of dengue outbreaksis enormous. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the annual cost of dengue infectionsin Sri Lanka was estimated at US$1.2 billion in 2010. This includes direct medical costs, indirect costs due to loss of productivity, and intangible costs associated with pain and suffering.

According to WHO estimates, the total number of deaths attributed to dengue fever in 2015 was 50 000 globally. Of these, 96% occurred in Asia and the Pacific region.

Sri Lankan government data shows that the average cost per case of dengue fever treatment in 2016 was $8.3. The majority of this cost ($7.6) was incurred by patients themselves through out-of-pocket payments.

A group of Australian companies helping to raise awareness and money for the basics 

Allstate Pest CEO Vasilios Tsoutouras spoke with ABC news about the importance of providing basic necessities, so that the people that could help and had the skills to do it, would have the resources to assist others.

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