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Dengue fever and how to avoid it
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | October 10, 2003 18:53 IST
Last Updated: October 10, 2003 23:08 IST
Dengue fever is a self-limiting disease, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito.
These mosquitoes gather around stagnant water. Hence, it is common for a surge in reports of dengue infections just after the monsoon.
Four persons reportedly died of dengue and 160 cases of infection were registered in various hospitals in Mumbai from June to September 2003. Most of the cases were reported from the suburbs of Malad and Borivali.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is not sure how many of the people who died or those admitted in hospitals were actually infected by dengue.
BMC's Deputy Executive Health Officer Dr J G Thanekar said, "The four people may have died of dengue, but this could not be confirmed as none of them underwent the second (confirmatory) test. Rarely do people go in for a second blood test (as they are alerted by the first one and begin medication)."
In view of the dengue scare in the city, The BMC is organising a campaign to create awareness about the disease and the necessary precautions to prevent infection.
There are two types of dengue:
2) Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome: Infected person complains of high fever, bleeding from nose, gums, ears, skin. May go into shock due to blood loss.
The fever comes within eight days of the mosquito bite.
How to detect if you are infected:
2) Isolation of virus in blood: This is a sophisticated test, conducted only by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology. Can be undertaken 10 days after the first blood test. Quite expensive, but it can confirm if the person is infected by dengue.
3) Polymerized Chain Reaction: This test involves amplification of the DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid). Very expensive and hence, undertaken only in rare cases.
The last two are undertaken to confirm infection.
How to avoid it:
Dengue is also known as Break Bone Fever. If the infection is treated on time, the mortality rate is less then 15%.
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