Healthy Living

Dengue Fever: Cause, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Dengue Fever: Cause, Symptoms and Home Remedies

Dengue is an airborne disease carried by mosquitoes which can cause severe complications if not treated properly.  It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. 

There is no dengue vaccine as yet but efforts are underway to develop one, a tough task due to the fact that the disease can result from infection with one of four different viruses.  So the vaccine must protect against all four viruses in order to be effective.  Another complication is that the dengue infection cycle typically results from one virus one year, followed by a different virus a few years later; this means that people can get dengue more than once.

Dengue Fever – Symptoms and Signs:

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of dengue fever in order to seek property treatment and limit the effects of the disease.  Watch out for symptoms of high fever and at least two of the following:

  • Severe headache
  • Severe pain behind the eyes
  • Rash
  • Body aches, including joint, muscle or bone pain
  • Mild nose or gum bleeding
  • Easy bruising
  • Low white blood cell counts

Fever can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days from the onslaught of symptoms.  However, those who have had previous dengue fever infection often develop more serious symptoms.  Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal cramps and pain
  • Constant vomiting or vomiting blood
  • Regular bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Irritable mood or drowsiness
  • Pale, cold and clammy skin
  • Difficulty breathing

When dengue hemorrhagic fever develops, the patient may be free of fever for up to 48 hours before serious warning signs such as bleeding under the skin, bleeding of the gums and nose and internal bleeding begin.

Because there is no medication to treat dengue, prevention is the key in avoiding this serious illness. Following preventative steps can be taken to protect against being infected:

  • Use mosquito repellent all the time, both inside and outside
  • Wear light coloured clothing, long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks
  • Make sure window screens are free of holes
  • Use air conditioning where available instead of opening windows and doors for ventilation
  • Cover water containers used for drinking and cooking and dump out any containers of standing water.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net

Some Ayurvedic and home remedies:

  • Keep the body hydrated by drinking as much water as possible to replace fluid loss and to bring down body temperature
  • Avoid eating solid foods until the fever is gone, replacing them with purified water and juices
  • Increase intake of Vitamin C by eating fruits rich in the vitamin like oranges and amla to help absorption of iron
  • Drink a coriander tonic to reduce the fever
  • Neem oil or leaves should be applied on the body with a damp warm cloth 2-3 times a day
  • To boost the immune system, purify blood and increase blood count, Chyavanprash can be taken
  • Drinking boiled tulsi (basil) leaves as a tea can help prevent dengue as it strengthens the body’s defense system. Alternatively, 10-15 leaves can be chewed twice a day instead
  • Tea made of Fenugreek leaves act as a soothing and cleansing drink
  • Drink pomegranate or black grape juice to increase blood count
  • Orange juice can be taken to help with digestion and promote antibodies for a speedy recovery

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