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4-min read

Dengue: 7 Myths Busted Around the Mosquito-borne Disease

In Telangana, more than 4,500 cases have been reported this year since January. According to the state officials, the number of dengue cases has spiked up since August.

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Updated:September 18, 2019, 8:08 AM IST
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Dengue: 7 Myths Busted Around the Mosquito-borne Disease
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Dengue has severely hit India, especially the southern states of Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. Eastern states like West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar have also registered a high number of dengue cases.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Also known as break-bone fever, dengue is characterized by mild to severe symptoms. They usually take 4 to 7 days after the mosquito bite to be recognizable. Some of the mild signs of dengue fever include aching muscle and joints, high fever, vomiting, body rashes, intense headache, pain behind the eyes, etc. If proper treatment is not taken, these symptoms can gradually worsen causing internal bleeding, sensitive stomach, weak pulse, a significant drop in blood platelets, disorientation etc. These severe symptoms can, in fact, lead to the death of a patient suffering from dengue.

In Telangana, more than 4,500 cases have been reported this year since January. According to the state officials, the number of dengue cases has spiked up since August. Now, if we talk about our neighboring state Pakistan, it is facing a dengue fever outbreak. If reports are to be believed, around 59,739 people are affected by this deadly fever.

As there is no vaccine available for the diseases, it is important to prevent the condition as much as possible. In case you get the infection, it is advised to get medical help as soon as possible. Notably, it is quite confusing to diagnose the condition as its symptoms are quite similar to other mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya, etc.

There are a lot of myths attached to dengue fever, which can sometimes worsen the condition than it already is. The Health Site busted some fictions to make way for facts regarding the disease.

Myth 1: Dengue Can Be Transmitted Through Any Mosquito.

Fact: It is not true at all. As mentioned above, it is only transmitted through female Aedes mosquitoes. In fact, these mosquitos can transfer the infection only when they themselves are infected. Notably, during their feeding period, they usually bite more than one person during the day.

Myth 2: Dengue Fever Is Mild And Harmless.

Fact: There are both mild and severe cases of dengue. You may experience mild symptoms if you get proper treatment on time. Delayed treatment may lead to complications like breathing difficulty, liver failure, confusion, internal bleeding, etc. These symptoms may also lead to the death of the patient.

Myth 3: Having Low Platelet Count Always Means That You Have Dengue.

Fact: Low platelet count is one of the significant symptoms of dengue fever. But that doesn’t mean that this condition always is a sign of dengue. If you have fever apart from the drop in platelet count, your chances of suffering from dengue are quite significant. However, if only the latter is in the picture you may be suffering from other infections like yellow fever, leptospirosis, chikungunya, HIV, scrub typhus, etc.

Myth 4: Being Affected By Dengue Once Makes You Immune To It For The Rest Of Your Life.

Fact: Well, dengue virus has four serotypes namely DEN-1, 2, 3, and 4. In case you got infected by the serotype 1, you will be immune to that particular serotype for the rest of your life and not the other three as well. Other serotypes of dengue can potentially affect you. In fact, the next time you will get the infection; it will be more severe than the previous one. This is what science says. The calculation states that a person can potentially get infected by dengue fever four times in his/her lifetime.

Myth 5: Dengue Fever Can Be Cured By Using Papaya Leaf.

Fact: Well, papaya leaf can be used to manage the symptoms of the condition. But it cannot treat dengue fever. Various studies have found that the use of papaya leaf can lead to a significant increase in platelet count in patients suffering from dengue fever.

Myth 6: Only Children And Older Individuals Can Get Dengue Fever.

Fact: Factors like age, gender, and your socioeconomic condition do not decide your risk of getting affected by dengue fever. Anybody can be affected by it. What really increase your risk of developing dengue fever includes living in tropical regions and having prior dengue fever.

Myth 7: Keeping Your House Clean Can Totally Prevent You From Getting Dengue Fever.

Fact: Though keeping your house clean is considered as one of the preventive measures to keep dengue at bay, it does not guarantee that you will be away from the infection. Keeping the area around your house, clean is also advisable. In case, somebody in your neighborhood has a breeding ground for mosquitoes (stagnant water), infected Aedes mosquito may fly in your house and bite you. Notably, the flight range of this mosquito is 400 meters. Therefore, it is always said that preventing the onset of dengue can only be a collective effort and not of an individual. Everyone should be aware of the infection and its breeding grounds to keep the infection at bay.

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