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Dengue and Chikungunya: The Dirge of a Nation

engue and Chikungunya. Fever and joint pain may be controlled by the paracetamol group of drugs. Severe cases of Dengue or Chikungunya may require IV fluid infusion. In case of severe bleeding, as in Dengue, blood transfusion may be required. Adequate rest and supportive care is an absolute requirement.

Although no vaccinations are currently available for use, clinical trials have been initiated for a vaccination against Dengue fever. The following are some of the steps that should be taken to prevent these fevers from snowballing into an epidemic:
  • Avoid stagnant water around houses to get rid of mosquito breeding sites. Clear water from:
    • Flower pots
    • Buckets
    • Barrels.
    • Tyres - especially if used for swings
  • Avoid water stagnation for more than 72 hrs as the life cycle of the mosquitoes lasts for 4 - 14 days.
  • If water needs to be stored for more than four days consider using larvicidal fish as predator.
  • Store water under cover
  • Use mosquito nets, also during the day
  • Use mosquito repellant creams or coils containing DEET to avoid mosquito bites
  • Use bleaching powder mixed in water if it is not used for drinking.
  • Measures should be taken to prevent mosquito breeding in stored water bodies, like wells
  • Destroy discarded objects like old tyres, coconut shells and bottles, as they collect and store rain water
  • Wear bright and light color clothing, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing.
  • Wear long sleeved clothes and long pants.
  • Wear boots and socks and if necessary tuck the pants into the socks
  • Avoid outdoor activities during dawn or dusk when these mosquitoes are most active
  • Avoid strong perfumes as they attract mosquitoes
Most patients diagnosed with Dengue and Chikungunya recover completely within a span of few weeks. Joint pain may persist
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