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Risk of “Dengue” could strike earlier than expected in 2020

Hyderabad: The world is rejoicing the dwindling pollution levels, and India is hoping for an early monsoon to suit our conditions! However, there is a plausible “side effect” to these positive implications humankind is celebrating due to a global lockdown. And that is the threat of “dengue” striking in India earlier than anticipated.

It is widely known that dengue fever is caused by a virus which is spread via mosquitoes that thrive in and near unhygienic human habitations. When a mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. When the infected mosquito then bites another person, the virus enters the other person’s bloodstream.

Commenting on the ailment, Dr Venkata Ramana Rao Nellutla, Senior Consultant Physician, Continental Hospitals said, “Surprisingly, we are noticing dengue cases in the summertime this year, which is much earlier than usual. Dengue spreading mosquitoes thrive during rainy seasons and this year India is expecting an early monsoon, possibly due to low pollution levels across the world. Hence, it is important our society is aware of the need to ensure clean and hygienic surroundings to stop the spread of dengue fever. Any lapses in ensuring a cleaner and safer environment will lead to another disaster, in the times when humankind is already fighting with one.”

There is a possibility that both dengue and Covid-19 diseases might rise at the same time over the next few weeks. A major challenge before healthcare professionals is that both the diseases share some of the symptoms like fever, fatigue, body pains etc., and if they co-exist, there is an increased risk of organ involvement. Unfortunately, such a situation could also lead to a situation where the availability of hospital beds will emerge as a major challenge.

Dengue warning symptoms & signs

Early days ( day 1 to 5)

  • Persistent high-grade fever
  • Severe body pains, backache & eye pain
  • Persistent vomitings

 Later days:

  • Mucosa bleeding
  • Bloating, fullness in the abdomen with vomitings
  • Non-itchy rashes
  • Breathlessness

 Lab findings:

  • Low platelets & white cells
  • Altered liver function
  • Increasing hematocrit

“Just like we are taking the necessary precautions from Covid-19, we must protect ourselves from mosquitoes too. We should ensure there is no stagnant water in our vicinity. Mosquito nets, repellents should be encouraged all the time to avoid mosquito bites.

As both the illness are caused by viruses, only symptomatic treatment can be offered, and visiting nearby healthcare facility to get an early diagnosis is the solution,” added Dr Venkata Ramana Rao Nellutla, Senior Consultant Physician, Continental Hospitals.

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