Dengue is a viral infection caused by dengue virus. It is transmitted from infected patient to others by mosquito bite. Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) is a daytime biting mosquito. This mosquito breeds in collected water in discarded tires, flower pots etc. It is also a disease that is frequently found in babies. As parents, it is important for you to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with dengue so that you can consult a specialist at the earliest. Remember that early diagnosis and timely action is necessary for dengue cure.
Symptoms associated with Dengue in Babies:
A majority of children present with sudden high-grade fever up to 103-104F, associated with a severe backache and body pains.
The child may also have a severe headache and eye ache.
A transient red rash may be there during 1st 1-2 days of illness.
From 2nd day of illness, the child may complain of nausea, pain abdomen, loss of appetite, altered mouth taste.
Child may develop bluish patches or small bleeding spots (petechiae) on the skin (dengue hemorrhagic fever).
In severe cases, child may develop low blood pressure or breathing difficulty and at time liver failure.
Diagnosis of Dengue in Babies:
Diagnosis of dengue is supported by lab investigations which include positive IgM antibody, 4 fold increase in IgG antibody. Detection of NS1 antigen in commercial kits offers the reliable point of care diagnosis of acute dengue infection.
Prevention of Dengue:
Dengue can be prevented by preventing mosquito bites by following means.
By body covering clothes and use of mosquito nets, we can protect ourselves from mosquito bites. The screen on windows and doorways are an effective method for preventing mosquito entry into the houses.
Use of mosquito repellents, which are available in many forms like bands, gels, creams, stickers etc.
Destruction of breeding sites of mosquitoes. Proper disposal of rubber tyres, empty bottles, and broken pots. Keep water containers covered. If water collection is unavoidable, pour oil over water collections, so that it makes a thin layer of oil on water and so prevents egg laying and hatching.
Kill mosquitoes by regular ultra low volume spray of insecticides in the community.
Biological killing by putting larvicidal (larva eating) fishes in water collections and ponds can also be done.
Prevention of mosquito bite of dengue patient by use of mosquito nets for them.