Identifying and Fighting Dengue Fever

Also known as breakbone fever, the condition is caused by the Aedes mosquito bite in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is a virus that can affect anyone, regardless of their age, and the people that are most exposed live in Central America, Pacific Islands, Taiwan, Northern Australia, Southern Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa.

prevent dengue fever

What are the symptoms?

The virus cannot spread directly from one person to another. After the bite, the symptoms will occur in about 3-10 days and can be felt even after 10 days from the incubation period have passed.

Here are the symptoms you should be looking out for:

  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea
  • Severe headaches
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Easy bruising
  • Nose or gum bleeding

If the infection is not treated properly, it will develop into a life-threatening hemorrhagic fever and the people who have a weak immune system or those who have previously suffered from this condition are extremely vulnerable. In this stage, one could expect one or several of the following manifestations:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Extreme low blood pressure
  • Blood plasma leakage
  • Respiratory distress
  • Problems at the level of the lungs, heart and liver

One thing you should remember is that there is no cure for this condition, so preventing it seems to be the best thing one could do. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Get rid of standing water – Any water standing around your house can be a great place for these mosquitos to stay in. Eliminate any fridge trays, garbage bins, empty planters and even the recipients that collect rain.
  • Use high-quality mosquito repellants – You can apply them directly onto your skin at dawn and dusk, the time of the day when most mosquitos are active. You can use high-tech repellants or you can make one at home by combining essential oils with vanilla extract and witch hazel.
  • Use the air conditioner – Make sure to apply windows and doors to your house, where mosquitos will not be able to enter. Use the air conditioner too, as mosquitos cannot live in a cool climate.
  • Cloth protection – Wear long-sleeved blouses and long trousers. Also, keep them light, as mosquitos are attracted by black and blue. Wear socks to protect your feet, instead of shoes that will reveal your foot.
  • Guppy fish – If you have a swimming pool and want to keep the water in it as fresh as possible, fill it with guppy fish. They will eat any mosquitos and larva, keeping the water fresh.
  • Stay indoors at dusk and dawn – Since mosquitos are the most active at dawn and dusk, make sure to stay inside the house during those times of the day.
  • Travel clever – If you are travelling in an affected area, make sure to stay in a hotel that is air-conditioned, with doors and windows that are secure. Opt for a mosquito netting if the hotel does not have air conditioning. Use a mosquito repellent and wear proper clothes.
  • Use basil – If you feel like you might get dengue fever, use basil by simmering a handful of basil in 2 cups of water at a low heat for about 20 minutes. Then, strain it and let it cool down. You can drink it twice a day.
  • Water – One way to lower the risk of getting this fever is to stay hydrated. Drink purified water to hydrate your body and maintain the blood platelet count at a normal level.
  • Antiviral foods – Eat ginger and garlic, cooked or raw. Also, go for antiviral herbs such as oregano, mullein, olive leaf, elderberry or cat’s claw.

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