National Dengue Day
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has declared May 16 as National Dengue Day to create awareness about the disease and to improve preventive measures and preparedness for disease control in the country before the transmission season begins.
- Dengue fever is widespread throughout the world. The highest number of dengue cases was recorded in 2017.
Facts about dengue
- Dengue is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus (DENV, 1–4 serotypes)
- Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.
- Aedes Aegyptus mosquito bites during daylight hours.
- A person develops symptoms 3-14 days after the infective bite.
- Patients who are already infected with the dengue virus can transmit the infection to other via Aedes mosquitoes during 4-5 days of onset of symptoms.
- Dengue prevention and control depend on effective vector control measures.
- Dengue fever starts with sudden onset of fever, followed by severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash.
- Dengue hemorrhagic fever has an acute onset of fever followed by abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding. A small proportion of cases may show fatal disease as dengue shock syndrome.
- There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. Early clinical diagnosis by a physician and proper clinical management lowers the fatality rates below1%. Use of analgesics (pain reliever) with paracetamol, promoting patient to drink plenty of fluids and rest are important.
- Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended.
Prevention and control
- The directorate of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program is the nodal center for the surveillance and prevention of dengue in India. Integrated disease surveillance program also helps in disease surveillance and outbreak detection/investigation of dengue in the country.
Notification of dengue cases
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has made notification of dengue cases essential. All government health institutions and private hospitals and clinics are required to inform the office of the district health authority of the concerned district to notify suspected dengue cases reported at their health institution every week or daily during the transmission season.
- Water from coolers and other small containers (plastic containers, buckets, used automobile tires, water coolers, pet watering containers, and flower vases) should be removed at least once a week.
- Appropriate larvicides should be used to water storage containers that cannot be emptied.
- Water storages containers should be kept covered with a lid.
- Aerosol can be used during day time to prevent the bites of mosquitoes.
- During transmission season (rainy season) all persons can wear clothes that cover arms and legs.
- Mosquito nets or mosquito repellents can be used while sleeping during day time.
- Personal protective measures such as window screens, insecticide-treated bednets, coils, and vaporizers can be used to prevent mosquito bites
- Dengue patients should be prevented from mosquito bites. This will prevent the further spread of dengue to other persons.