Dengue Fever – India

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Dengue cases rise in Bengaluru; doctors say clear stagnant water.

161 suspected cases of dengue in Bengaluru on Friday alone. Doctors say the number is on the rise after continuous showers. The case count is higher this year — 1,335 cases were recorded between January and May, while the figure was 850 in the corresponding period of 2021.

Doctors said increasing awareness and eliminating vector-breeding sites are some measures that can help control the disease. People are advised to not let water stagnate in nearby areas and use a mosquito net while sleeping to stay protected. Also, practice hygienic habits while eating food outside and drink clean water. One must watch out for common symptoms like fever, body pain, backache, headache, rashes and bleeding (in severe cases).

Photo: Aedes aegypti or yellow fever mosquito.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus. Dengue is spread by several species of female mosquitoes but typically by a mosquito that has white markings on its legs and sides.

Dengue can exist anywhere that mosquitoes live and is fast becoming a global problem. As the world’s climate becomes warmer, the mosquito’s distribution has increased significantly in the past decades. Dengue is fast becoming a larger problem than malaria.

Symptoms may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. A later reinfection can also cause serious complications.

Controlling mosquito populations is the main way to prevent and reduce dengue. Wearing long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when outdoors is always a good idea. In countries where the disease is endemic, use mosquito netting over the bed if the bedroom is not air conditioned or screened.

The first record of a case of probable dengue fever is in a Chinese medical encyclopedia from the Jin Dynasty (265–420 AD) which referred to a "water poison" associated with flying insects. The primary mosquito vector, A. aegypti, spread out of Africa in the 15th to 19th centuries due in part to increased globalization secondary to the slave trade.

The origins of the Spanish word dengue are unknown, but it is possibly derived from "dinga" in Swahili, meaning a disease caused by an evil spirit.

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