Chikungunya / Dengue in children

Friday, 23/09/2016


Children love to play outdoors. But often they are susceptible to mosquito bites. Though it is common, but at times these bites can be dangerous. Chikungunya is one such infection that arises because of mosquito bites. Though it is not as dangerous as Dengue but some of it’s signs can be adverse.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne infection caused by the Chikungunya virus. This virus is transferred by two species of the Aedes type mosquitoes. In India, Chikungunya was never a bigger cause of concern than Dengue. However, in the year 2016, there has been an increase in the cases of Chikungunya.
Chikungunya infection can not just be seen in adults but also in children. Chikungunya signs is very much similar to that of Dengue and Malaria. The signs of Chikungunya includes sudden onset of fever which can be upto two to seven days. This can be accompanied by joint pains which can be for years. Certain other signs include headache, fatigue, eye pain, vomiting, etc.
These are also often seen in children during viral fevers. Though this infection is not as dangerous as Dengue but certain signs can be for more than a week.
Though there is no proper medication for Chikungunya, certain measures can surely help.
The child need proper relaxation to increase energy. Also, the child needs to drink loads of fluids and water to take care of dehydration. For fever during Chikungunya, parcemtamol can be given to the child. The child should be away from the outdoors during daytime. He should be clothed full. It is important to keep the environment clean.
Stagnated water and garbage should be cleaned so as to not allow the mosquitoes from breeding.
Chikungunya cases have been spiraling in the recent times. This has now become a global cause of concern due to increase in the breeding of mosquitoes. Thus it is important to take certain measures to ensure that such infections can be taken care of well.

Dengue is a word that we are all very familiar with. This becomes a topic that is much talked about especially during the onset of the monsoon season. This is because the monsoons not just relieve people from the scorching July sun but also give rise to spiraling of diseases. One of the most common of them is the dengue fever. Dengue fever over the last few years has been more concerning.
Dengue is a tropical fever. It is a mosquito-borne infection caused by the dengue virus. It is transferred by several species of the Aedes mosquito. Dengue has become a global cause of concern ever since the commencement of the Second World War. Presently, an estimated 390 million Dengue infections occur every year globally. Most of the Dengue fevers occur in the tropical areas.
Dengue mosquitoes are generally found in clean water. However, it does not transfer between people. Also, it is not only infecting adults but children as well. Earlier, Dengue in children who are less than a year old was not so common but surprisingly even infants are being infected with the virus. It is not so common as infants are mostly away from the exposures. Infants aged three to nine months are mostly vulnerable to Dengue.
Generally, in younger children, Dengue starts like a viral fever, a runny nose, cough, sometimes a mild rash. The child might also have headaches, joint aches, pain behind the eyes. Certain dangerous signs may include abdominal pain, bleeding from nose, low blood pressure, vomiting, dehydration, etc. Dengue has also been referred to as the “Breakbone Fever” because of the signs seen in children. The fever can be for two to seven days.

Thus, it is very important for infection to be managed properly. Certain tips can be therefore followed :
1. The child must get proper relaxation else he can feel fatigue.
2. The child must eat light and nutritious food.
3. Paracetamol can be given during fevers.
4. Warm fluids can be taken during Dengue fever.
5. ORS can also be taken to take care of dehydration.
The only key to keep children away from is any kind of mosquito, and any place where they breed. (places such as houses, schools, etc.(
Also, keeping the environment clean is important. The children must fully dress to not let mosquitoes bite. Garbage and stagnant water should also be cleaned.
Dengue is dangerous but certain steps can be helpful enough to keep a child away from it.