Genesis of dengue

Friday, 23/09/2016

1. About the Disease

• Dengue, as a disease is considered to be exceptionally fatal which if not treated timely can also lead to death. This disease occurs when an infected mosquito bites a human, passing the virus on to the new host. Once the virus enters the body, the virus multiplies by travelling to various glands. This period is known as the period of incubation of the virus. Symptoms such as high fever, reddening of eyes, backache, headache, chills start appearing suddenly.

• This period of illness continues till 2 – 3 days after which the fever drops rapidly and the patient starts sweating heavily. After the patient feels better, the fever increases again but not as much as the first time. The fever is followed by rashes on hands, legs, chest, abdomen and back.

• The combination of fever, rashes and headache are called the Dengue Triad. Many patients generally recover fully from the infection but the weakness and fatigue may continue for several weeks.

• This infection can take even more severe forms like Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome.The symptoms of these diseases are severe though the initial symptoms of fever and headache are not present. The patient of this type of dengue develops a cough problem followed by small purplish spots starts appearing on the skin where blood is leaking out of the vessels. Bleeding may worsen and abdominal pain may become unbearable. The patient may start vomiting which is a sign of bleeding in the stomach. The bleeding can lead to damage of organs especially kidney’s.

2. The Beginning

• Dengue doesn’t have a specific origin though it is said to be originated from by Swahili word –“Ka – Dinga Pepo” which means “cramp – like seizure caused by an evil spirit”.

• According to a source, the first ever reported case of dengue dates back to 992 under the Jin Dynasty. It was referred to as the “water poison” by the Chinese encyclopedia. A physician named Dr Jose Sabater in 1771 gave the name “Break – bone fever” which meant the bone and joint pain with high fever.

• The first clinically recognized dengue epidemics took place almost simultaneously in Asia, Africa, and North America in the 1780s. Dr Benjamin Rush who recorded the first case of an epidemic disease in Philadelphia back in 1780 gave the term “bilious remitting fever”. The symptoms that followed this disease were – high fever, joint pain, rashes, headache, bleeding, vomiting, nausea and weakness.

3. Dengue In India

• In India, the first case of an epidemic of dengue was recorded in Madras (now Chennai) is 1780. But the first proved dengue fever epidemic occurred in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1963 – 1964. After this period, dengue was absent from India for a long time.

• After this gap occurred the first major widespread epidemics of dengue in 1996 initially starting from Delhi, then Lucknow and spreading in the entire country.

• Currently, dengue causes tremendous amounts of fatalities in India every year. India saw the cases of dengue doubling in 2014 and 2015, the worst HIT was the National Capital with 1800 cases.

• There have been 99,913 reported cases of dengue in the year 2015.

• 220 death cases have been reported as well.

• In 2016, August, the numbers have almost matched up.


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