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HomeEditorialDengue has been given the name 'break bone fever'

Dengue has been given the name ‘break bone fever’

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dengue, aedes aegypti mosquito, mosquito, malariaA few days back one of my friends suffered dengue fever. I was trying to find out what must have suddenly hit him, that was nothing but the hot and humid parking slot of his building. As he enters the lobby from the lift, there is all stalled water, darkness and suffocating humidity. Above all his habit of eating junk food has complimented the complication. A normal person all of sudden started feeling uncomfortable, and when diagnosed he was positive for dengue. Mumbai’s hot and humid weather is really favourable for the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the carrier of the dengue virus.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has rapidly spread in all regions. Wherever water is stagnant that increases the chances of getting mosquitoes to dwell up in there. Mumbai’s roadside garbage piles, gutter water, dirt on the roadsides, is a paradise for mosquitos. Like Malaria, Dengue is spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. Although it is not usually fatal dengue Fever is an extremely serious disease. It can be fatal if unrecognized and not properly treated in a timely manner. Dengue symptoms range from mild and flu-like to high fever, rash, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain. The joint pain can be so severe that Dengue has been given the name ‘break-bone fever’. Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are also common.

The expansion of dengue in India has been related to unplanned urbanization, changes in environmental factors, host-pathogen interactions, and population immunological factors. Inadequate vector control measures have also created favourable conditions for dengue virus transmission and its mosquito vectors. Flood and poor sanitation play another important role in the growth of mosquitoes.

During the winter season, mosquitoes reproduce abundantly. Moreover, the mosquitoes are acquiring resistance to insecticides. The Indian citizens throw solid wastes in sewage blocking the normal flow of rainwater. Stagnant water in the sewage is the best breeding spot for mosquitoes. Water stays stagnant in the streets, near houses where empty coconut shells, broken pottery, gardens etc.

Dengue is directly affected by weather as almost all mosquito species including Ades requires a tropical and humidity rich milieu to grow and breed. Temperature and humidity have been increased around the world due the global warming and pollution, we are already in a tropical zone and have always been a home for lethal microbes, several outbreaks are the witness of it. Temperature fluctuation invites some foreign disease vectors also such as mosquito-borne Zika virus infection in Kerala, which was limited to middle Africa a few years ago.

Similarly, Dengue also originated from the African tropical region, now everywhere in the world, especially in India. Our atmosphere is changing silently. Our country works as a shelter for disease-causing vectors. We have too many stagnant water reservoirs like government construction sites, open drainage systems, uneven fields and a lot of similar things, summertime is also elevated. All cold-blooded insect grows at a warm temperature. Our modern lifestyle also provides freshwaters and numerous objects to flourish those blood-sucking entities. Actually, we are providing shelter to them. Climate crisis going to be worst to countries like India as ‘we know everything but do nothing’.

This disease starts suddenly with a high fever. Along with which there is a severe headache, muscle and joint pain starts. In Dengue fever, the sensitivity of the skin increases, due to which the patient is unable to tolerate milk and starts vomiting, sore throat, bleeding from the nose, difficulty in breathing.

Due to which it is also called break-bone fever, apart from this red rash also comes on the body, then firstly on the feet, then on the chest and sometimes on the whole body. Apart from this, upset stomach, weakness, constant dizziness and loss of appetite are also the symptoms of dengue.

India is suffering from three types of mosquito-borne diseases like Malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. All of these diseases are quite serious because the symptoms are so similar between each of the diseases, it can be quite difficult, if not impossible, to make a conclusive identification without laboratory testing. Dengue and malaria fever are the most prevalent tropical diseases that spread with the bite of an infected mosquito. Malaria is caused by the parasite named Plasmodium whereas dengue is a viral infection.

How the virus affects the body is not fully known, however, chikungunya and dengue have almost identical symptoms and disease processes. Chikungunya infects the muscle cells of the body. From there, it reproduces until the cell dies, and then replicates and finds a new host cell to infect. Once a person recovers, he is immune to that particular virus but not to the other three. If you have Dengue fever a second, third, or fourth time, your chances of having severe Dengue fever, commonly known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever can rise. So be careful about the environment you live in and the food that you eat.


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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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