Dengue fever epidemic is spreading: Part 2

dengueThe dengue fever epidemic in India is getting worse and spreading globally. We reached out to our Zintro experts for their opinions on the dangers of dengue fever and the potential impact on populations as it spreads.

Ajmjs, an expert in public health, says that dengue fever, hyperendemic in tropical urban centers, is a major international public health concern and the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of human beings. “WHO stated that 2.5 billion people live in areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted,” says Ajmjs. “The dangers vary and are the result of increased permeability of the blood vessels, causing leakage of blood fluid/plasma into various organs and completely broken blood vessels that cause bleeding. There is also disruption in functioning in the blood components that help the blood to clot. People who suffer from dengue fever have no risk of death, but some of them develop Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome and these bring risk of death.”

 

The potential impact of dengue fever, together with associated dengue hemorrhagic fever, will depend on the local level of immunity, but Ajmjs says there are ways to control it, such as:

  • Reducing the multiplication of mosquitoes,
  • Identifying the favored places for breeding of Dengue mosquitoes,
  • Use of insecticide to prevent larvae from developing into adults,
  • Wearing protective clothes to cover as much as possible,
  • Use of repellents,
  • Use of mosquito nets to protect others who may be resting during the day, and
  • Use of electric vapor mats and mosquito coils during the daytime.

 

Thomas Lundgren, a veterinarian doctor, says that dengue fever is a viral disease transferred by mosquitoes that produces flu-like symptoms. It is a zonos disease, which means it can be spread between animals and humans. “Most cases are benign and some people only get a passing fever. Dengue fever symptoms can be a headache, joint and muscle ace, bloodstained conjunctiva (red eyes), and a skin rash similar to measles that can appear on hands, feet and in arm pits,” says Lundgren. “Diagnosis is done by looking at antibodies against the dengue virus. Currently, no treatments exist against this virus, but there are preventative measures, such as using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and long trousers in light colored cloth. The reason the disease is spreading may be because people travel more and climate changes may allow the virus and mosquitoes to survive in new areas.”

A related story can be found here.

By Maureen Aylward

 

 

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